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Author Topic: Esso-teric: soylentOrange's Fanfic Thread  (Read 29759 times)
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Urban Legend
« Reply #280 on: 12-02-2008 00:10 »

I see what you've done now, you've stopped the timeline-skips for the time being to ostensibly move on into the realm of the sewers for a while.  And so apparently Leela'll be the one to have to deal with it.
 Sortof.  There will still be time skips, but they won't be happening in every update.  And yes, Leela will have to deal with this mess.  And Tura will have to deal with the fact that Leela is the one who gets to deal with this mess.

I'm willing to bet that Leela's solution will involve violence...and possibly Bender, which means it'll also involve sleaze!
How on Earth did you know? wink

Okay, now to throw everyone off by posting something completely non-GSR related.  For anyone that doesn't know, there's a writing competition over at Archonix's forum, and I've written a short (5000 word) story as an entry.  It's finally done, so I figured I might as well post it here as well:
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______

Resident Leevil
By: Soylent Orange

“Huh, what’s this?”  Having heard- and then ignored- Planet Express’s doorbell, Fry had eventually been forced by Leela to go check it out.  He’d expected to find some door-to-door salesman- or possibly a police officer looking into complaints of an old man committing acts of public nudity- but, instead, he found a small, white cardboard box lying upside down on the doorstep.

Bender and Amy appeared to the delivery boy’s right.  Amy leaned down to pick up the package and squinted until she could make out what was written on the address label.  “Looks like it’s addressed to you, Bender.”  She gave the box an experimental shake, and something moved around inside.  “Did you order someth-”

Bender grabbed the box, and it disappeared into his chest cabinet in an instant.  “What?  Me, order something illegal?  Don’t be stupid!”  The robot leaned through the doorway and looked in both directions down the street.  No one was around.

Amy looked at the robot and then blinked a couple of times.  “Uh, okay... “

Fry and the intern exchanged a look that was both confused and slightly worried before following Bender back into the depths of the building.  When Bender entered the lounge, he removed the package from his chest cabinet and dropped it onto a table with a grand flourish.  Professor Farnsworth, Leela, Hermes, Scruffy, and Zoidberg- who had all been watching Fox’s latest reality series- Survivor: Proxima Centauri- on the lounge television, ignored the robot.  Or, at least, they tried to.  When three seconds had passed and he was still not the center of attention, Bender reached out with one extensomatic arm and switched off the TV.

“Hey, now how’re we supposed ta tolerate being in da same room togetha?!”

“Shut up Hermes.  I’ve got Bender related news!”  The robot gestured to his package.  “While you were all off working last week like a bunch of suckers, I was busy surfing the internet.”

“Spluh.”  Amy retorted, rolling her eyes.  “I had to delete thirty teraquats of robot porn from the ship’s computer this morning.”

Bender ignored the remark and began ripping into the package.  “While I was surfing, I came across a black supermarket site that sells all kinds of illegal foods.“

There was a collective intake of breath as everyone present realized what exactly this could mean.  Fry was the first to find the courage to ask the question that was on all of their minds.  “So- so you’re planning to cook for us again?”

“Yep!”  By this time the cardboard and most of the packing material had been ripped away, leaving half a dozen cigar-shaped objects resting in the bending robot’s hand.  “I’m out of Spargle’s ‘confidence’ liquid, so I needed a new special ingredient.  These things I bought will go good in that pie I make with owl pellets and tooth paste.  All it needs is a- Leela, I see you over there edging toward the door!”

Leela froze.  “Uhh, I need to use the restroom?”  She smiled weakly.

“Nice try, now get back over here.”

Bender, done unwrapping one of the little paper cigars, held up his new ingredient.  It was a spongy, moist, yellow cylinder about 4 inches in length.  Something white oozed out of it in several places.  “Neat, huh?”

“What is it, some kind of alien fungus?”  Hermes asked.

“It looks like something from Fry’s locker.”  Leela added.  As she was speaking, she noticed an odd look on Fry’s face.  “Fry, is everything alright?  I mean, besides that Bender is planning to cook us dinner?”

The delivery boy looked at Leela for a moment and then back at the thing in Bender’s hand.  “Uh, well, I mean…  Bender, is that a Twinkie?”

Bender broke into a grin, or, at least, what counted as a grin.  “Yep!  And it only cost me a week’s worth of your salary!  What I’ve got here is one of the most illegal foods in the entire galaxy.”

Fry looked around the room at his fellow employees, as if thinking someone was pulling his leg.  “Huh? Illegal?  I used to eat a package of those for dinner every night during football season, because Mom said she couldn’t leave the television or her team would lose.”

“Well, of course you did, you orange-haired neaderthal.”  Farnsworth snapped.  “Back in the 20th century, people ate all sorts of things that had dangerous levels of toxic preservatives and artificial flavors in them, causing irreversible damage to the kidneys and liver.  That’s why anything made with non-natural chemicals was outlawed back in 2492.”

“That’s crazy!  I ate tons of artificial foods back in the 20th century, and I only ever had two kidney transplants!”  Fry snatched the unwrapped Twinkie from Bender’s grasp.  “Here, I’ll prove these things are harmless.  Watch!”  To everyone else’s horror, Fry took a huge bite of the pastry, chewed, and swallowed.

There was a beat while Fry’s coworkers waited for the delivery boy to fall over dead, spontaneously combust, melt, or otherwise fall victim to the horrible Twinkie.  Fry just stood there and smiled wryly.  Eventually, it became apparent that nothing was going to happen.  

“See, nothing.  You people from the future are way too cautious about everything.”  The delivery boy took another two Twinkies from Bender and unwrapped them.  “Come on, you guys have to try these.  Back in my day, I don’t think you were even allowed to be an American unless you liked Twinkies.  It’s like the 32nd amendment, or something.“  

One by one, Fry was able to coax a piece of yellow pastry into each of his coworker’s hands.   Zoidberg devoured his immediately of course, but no one paid him any attention.  Amy held the bit of Twinkie up to her eye and examined it.  “I dunno, Fry.  What’s it taste like?”  She asked.

“You’ll love it.  It’s like a combination of air, whipped cream, and Styrofoam, all wrapped in soggy bread.”

Amy gave the Twinkie one last, dubious look, shrugged, then popped it into her mouth.  Moments later, everyone else did the same.

“Hey, these aren’t so bad.”  Amy said.  “It’s like you said, Styrofoam, soggy bread, and- uhoh.”  The intern abruptly turned an alarming shade of green.  “Umm, excuse me.”  With that, she turned and ran in the direction of the bathroom.  
_____________________________ _____________________________ ___________________________

“I’m really, really sorry guys.  I didn’t know you’d all get sick, I swear.”  It had been a couple hours since the incident, and most of Fry’s coworkers had more or less recovered.  Amy, Hermes, and the Professor all lay slumped forlornly in the worn and threadbare cushions of the couch.  Everyone else was scattered around the room, in more or less the same level of discomfort.   Bender, the only one present other than Fry that hadn’t been affected, was idly smoking a cigar in the corner while whistling to himself.

Leela was not in the conference room.  For some reason, the Twinkie had affected her harder than everyone else.  The last time that Fry had seen her was about an hour ago.  She’d been complaining of a raging headache and had gone to lie down for awhile in her cabin aboard the Planet Express Ship.

“Gwuck.  I feel like my head is going to explode.”  Amy complained weakly.  “What the heck was in those things?”

Farnsworth sat up a little straighter in his chair.  “Like I said earlier, most foods from the 20th century were so full of toxic chemicals so as to be practically inedible.  I’m afraid that, without the partial immunity that Fry has built up after years upon years of eating such things, our bodies were unable to cope with it.  We should all be thankful that no one seems to have suffered any permanent damage.”

“Speaking of which,” Fry added, “I’d better go check on Leela and make sure she’s ok.”

Fry turned his back on his friends and walked through the door to the conference room.  He heard some noises coming from the hangar below, so he leaned over the railing to take a look.  As he’d expected, Zoidberg was busily rummaging through some trashcans near the room’s far wall.  He called out to the Decapodian.  “Hey, Zoidberg!  Would you mind checking on Leela for me real quick?  She’s in her cabin on the ship.”

Zoidberg’s head appeared from the depths of one of the metal canisters.  “Of course, my good friend!  Let me just finish my lunch.”  Abruptly, Zoidberg’s entire body was upside down inside the garbage can.  The noises that reached Fry’s ears were so repulsive that the delivery boy had to turn away.

Fry looked up at the sky that was visible through the open hangar doors.   Sometime in the past hour it had gone from a brilliant cobalt blue to a depressingly dark, slate grey.  As Fry watched, a solitary raindrop fell from the sky and caught him square in the eye.  Fry shook his head and blinked the moisture away in irritation.  “Guess I’d better close the doors.”  He said aloud to no one in particular, before walking over to the control panel built into the conference table and pressing a few buttons.  As the giant steel hangar doors rumbled closed, Zoidberg extricated himself from his meal and headed toward the ship’s nose.  The hangar was plunged into a deep shadow as Zoidberg, unperturbed, waddled up the ramp into the ship.
_____________________________ _____________________________ __________________________

“Hello?  Zoidberg?  Leela?  Is everything alright up there?”  Fry peered up into the darkened interior of the Planet Express Ship.  There was no answer.  Fry wasn’t sure how long he’d been waiting by the conference room table for Zoidberg to reappear.  He’d expected the Decapodian to go to Leela’s cabin, knock on the door, get told to shove off, and then report back to him.  It shouldn’t have taken more than two minutes.  Eventually Fry had gotten impatient and headed down to the ship to see what was up.

When, after another minute, Zoidberg still hadn’t shown his head, Fry started to ascend the forward ladder.  “Stupid lobster” the delivery boy grumbled.  “He’s probably raiding the pantry.”  Fry got to the airlock and had to fumble for the light switch.  It was so dark outside that not much light was making it into the hangar, and almost none at all was making it up into the ship.  

Fry soon found the little toggle switch that turned on the airlock light, but nothing happened when he flicked it.  That’s odd, he thought.  Must’ve burned out, somehow.  Luckily, there were flashlights stowed away in a locker within the airlock for nighttime deliveries, or for those pain-in-the-ass missions to planets that didn’t have suns.  Fry grabbed a light and flicked it on, illuminating the tiny compartment enough for him to find the keypad- which Fry noticed was running on emergency power- that would grant him access into the interior of the vessel.  When the inner airlock door swung open, Fry’s light shone out into the ship’s lower corridor.  He turned left, closing the airlock door behind him.  None of the lights were on in the corridor, making Fry wonder if the entire ship had somehow lost power.  A little quiver of worry started to make its presence known at the back of his mind.  Maybe Amy was working on the electrical system.  Fry told himself.  A low rumbling noise came to his ears from outside of the hull.  It was thunder.  Fry gulped and headed for the ladder to the command deck.

The hatch that led to the main deck was sealed shut.  Someone had hit the emergency close button, which meant there was no way through until someone with a code came by and unlocked it.  Leela had never seen fit to trust Fry with that code.  

Fry was starting to get a bit worried, and his weak assurances to himself that “someone must have accidentally hit the button” didn’t convince him for a second, especially not when there was what his imagination thought just might possibly be a bloody clawprint on the other side of the glass porthole that was inset in the hatch.  I guess I’ll have to try to get onto the bridge from the galley.  Briefly he entertained the idea of just getting the hell out of the ship and coming back with his coworkers and a couple of laser rifles, but he immediately quashed that thought as stupid and cowardly.  He was in a parked space ship inside what amounted to a fortress.  There was nothing in here that was going to get him.  

Carefully, Fry retraced his steps to the lower passageway and headed for the spacious galley.  He was just entering the compartment when he heard noises coming from up ahead.  Some sort of commotion was going on through the double doors that led into the kitchen.  He could hear some kind of thumping and a bunch of muffled squeals that could only be Zoidberg in mid-peril.

Fry bolted into the kitchen and looked around wildly, but there was no one there.   The noised were coming from up above.

“Fry, help, she’s got me!”   The delivery boy looked up to see the Decapodian’s head framed in the circular hatch that led to the bridge.  Zoidberg’s claws grasped feebly at the lip of the hatch, while something that Fry couldn’t see was obviously trying to pull him away.  There were splotches of green blood on Zoidberg’s face and claws.

“Zoidberg!  What’s going on, who’s got you?!”  The Decapodian never got to answer.  A final wrenching pull from whatever or whoever had a grip on his lower body succeeded in dislodging him.  There was a loud, warbling scream, and then silence.  

Fry froze, too panicked to do the sensible thing and flee for his life.  A few seconds passed while Fry stood there like an idiot and could do nothing but listen to the sound of his heart racing in his chest.  

No horrible alien monster appeared in the hatch, but Fry thought he heard a low moan.  When he recognized the voice that was making the noise he was instantly thrown out of his paralysis.  That sounds like Leela!  She must be hurt!

There was a swishing sound from up above that Fry recognized as the bridge’s rear hatch.  Maybe whatever got Zoidberg is gone.  Fry thought.  Either way, with Leela possibly injured, there was no way he was going to just leave the ship.  A small part of Fry’s mind realized what he was about to do, sighed in resignation, and decided to shut itself down for the next few hours and attempt to skip the stupidity altogether.

Fry cautiously poked his head above the bridge’s deck and looked around.  There was no one there except for Zoidberg, who lay crumpled in a heap by the rear hatch.  The moaning that had sounded like Leela had stopped.

When Fry was sure he was alone he tiptoed his way to the cupboard on the compartment’s starboard side and pulled out the small gauss pistol that Leela always had stashed in the emergency snack box.  He was a godawful shot, and he knew it, but it felt good to have it in his hand.

Zoidberg appeared to be unconscious.  He had what looked like small tooth marks on one of his legs, and green blood was dripping from a few of them.  Fry decided to leave the Decapodian there and come back for him later.

Fry was certain that he’d heard Leela’s voice and, since she wasn’t on the bridge, that meant whoever was on the ship had taken her with him.  Fry moved to the rear hatch and commanded the butterflies in his stomach to quiet down.  Leela was in danger.  He had to do something.  Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly, Fry walked through the hatch.

Fry didn’t dare use his flashlight to illuminate the corridor, which was pitch black save for the occasional spark that was escaping from a smashed-up EPS power conduit.  That explains the power outage.  Fry had to run his hands along the walls in order to find his way.  Up ahead, something made a noise.  Fry whipped out his pistol and switched on his flashlight, only to find Leela standing in the middle of the corridor with her back to him.

Fry blinked, and he lowered his weapon.   “Leela?  He whispered.  “What are you doing?  Are you alright?”

The purple haired cyclops muttered something too low for Fry to hear and began swaying slowly back and forth.

“Huh?  What did you say?  I didn’t catch that.”

Leela slowly spun around, and Fry nearly crapped himself when he saw the deathly pallor of her face.

“TTwwwiiinnnnkkkiiiiessss!” The thing that wasn’t Leela moaned, but Fry was too busy running away- and crapping his pants- to hear.    
_____________________________ _____________________________ _________________________  

“Professor, Leela’s turned into a zombie!  And she bit Zoidberg!”

“So, what else is new? “ The old scientist waved dismissively at the delivery boy.  “Now, leave me alone and let we watch the telev- wait, did you say hit, or bit?”

“I said bit!”

There was a collective horrified gasp by everyone present.  “By Jah, dat’s disturbing on so many levels, I can’t collate dem all!”

The Professor didn’t seem quite as shocked as everyone else present.  For a few moments he looked off into space while he absently stroked at a beard that had been gone for decades.  “Hmm…  Perhaps the toxins from that bit of Twinkie that Leela ingested somehow reacted with her mutant DNA.”

“Yes, but you’re missing the important thing!”  Fry exclaimed.  “I went looking for Leela on the ship, and she’s turned into a zombie!  We’ve got to get out of here, or she’ll eat our brains!”

Bender made an offended noise.  “Pfft.  That is such a stereotype, Fry.  Some of my best friends are zombies, and none of them have tried to eat anyone’s brains.”

“But- but…”

“And besides, Fry.”  Amy added.  “Even if there was a danger, she’s been confined to the ship, right?”

“Uhh yeah well, see, there’s the thing…”

The silence into which Fry’s voice faded was immediately punctuated by a low moan coming from somewhere on the other side of the door to the conference room.

Amy sighed.  “You didn’t lock the ship, did you?”

“It was on my to-do list, I swear!”

There was another moan from the other side of the door, followed by the strobing flash of lightning through the lounge’s bay window.  Fry was just edging carefully away from the door when it whooshed open, revealing Dr. Zoidberg in the tattered remains of his clothes.  While Zoidberg just stood there swaying back and forth and staring into nothing, the crew began to back slowly toward the room’s other door.

Zoidberg took a couple of steps forward, and the crew retreated one by one through the door.  Scruffy, in his haste, accidentally bumped a chair with the heel of his foot.  Zoidberg’s head whirled around, and his eyes fixed on the janitor.

“Scruffy’s got a bad feeling about this.”  

Unfortunately for Scruffy, his feeling turned out to be well founded.  Zoidberg lunged and, as the door closed behind the last of the PE crew to escape from the lounge, the last thing to be heard was a warbling scream mixed with the cry of “Oh, marmalade!”
_____________________________ _____________________________ ___________________________

“No!  I’m too cute to be a zombie!”  Amy’s body slid around the corner, and she was gone.

“Professor, we’ve got to do something!  We’re the only ones left!”

Farnsworth, who was riding Bender piggyback style, reached out and slapped the delivery boy across the face.  “Why must you always make me repeat myself?”  He demanded.  “We’ll be fine as long as you can get me to the basement.  I’ve got something down there in cold storage that should flush the toxins from Leela’s bloodstream.”

“Uhh, not that I really care, but how does just curing Leela do anybody any good?”  Zombie-Hermes appeared up ahead as if to highlight Bender’s point.  

“Twwwiiiinnnkkkieessss.”   Hermes moaned, before Bender shoved him out of the way down a side passage.
“Leela’s body obviously reacted with the toxins and created some sort of zombie-protein that can be passed to other people.  I should be able to-“

“This is ridiculous.” A new voice interrupted.  Cubert appeared out of nowhere from a side room and blocked Fry, Bender, and the Professor’s path.  “Nothing that is going on is even remotely plausible.  And now you’ve cobbled together some ridiculous-”  Cubert’s rant was cut off when Bender pointed over the genius’s shoulder.

“What?”  Cubert turned around.  “Oh.”  Leela was standing about ten feet away.  “Umm, guys?  What should I do?’  But there was no answer of course, as everyone else was busily running away in the opposite direction.  Cubert turned back to Leela.  “Uhh, I like that thing on your wrist?”
_____________________________ _____________________________ _______________________

Cubert’s scream echoed through the building as Fry, Bender, and the Professor made a mad dash toward the elevator.  Fry could sense the crowd that was coalescing behind them.

They made it to the elevator just in time.  Bender jammed the door close button, and the lift propelled them down to the sub basement.  When the doors opened again, Farnsworth pointed toward the refrigerator that was positioned by the lava pit on the other side of the cavern that served as the building’s lowest level.  “Quickly, get me to the cold storage unit!”

The moment the trio left the lift it started to head back up again.  Fry cursed loudly.  “I guess zombies know how to use the elevator.”  He took a quick survey of his surrounding and saw a stack of lumber lying against a nearby wall.  He grabbed a one by four and waved it around experimentally.  “Professor, I’ll hold off the zombies.  You get that cure doohickey!”

The elevator doors opened again, revealing the rest of the Planet Express crew.  Each of them wore a slack expression and moaned continuously to themselves.  In their midst was Leela, who caught Fry’s eyes- and not just because her clothes had somehow managed to become torn.  There was a small, sleek looking object in her right hand.  It was the pistol that he’d grabbed from its stash aboard ship, and then tossed away in panic when he’d found Leela.  Leela raised the weapon.

Zombies with death rays?  Figures.  Luckily, Leela was apparently not as good a marksman when she was a zombie, because her first shot went wide and buried itself in the cavern wall.  There was a low rumble when the round impacted, and something fell off the ceiling and splashed into the lava pit.

“Be careful with that, you slack-jawed plebian!” Farnsworth hollered from over by the freezer.  “This cave is unstable!  Even the slightest impact could-”

Leela fired again, and this time the shot hit the ceiling.  The whole cavern began to shake, and a huge chunk of the floor suddenly broke away, revealing an orange lake of molten rock.  Fry suddenly found himself standing in the middle of an isthmus of solid ground about ten feet wide that was the only path from the elevator to the Professor.  Since Bender didn’t seem particularly inclined to do anything, that left him the only thing standing between the Professor and a mob of zombies.  And I decided not to skip work today, the delivery boy thought ruefully.

The zombies started to half walk-half stumble in Fry’s direction.  He raised his board and tried to look as menacing as he could.  “Professor, how’s that cure coming?”  The delivery boy glanced over his shoulder and Farnsworth held up a syringe that he was filling with some sort of liquid.

“Just give me another few moments.”  The inventor called.

Fry turned around again and winced, knowing that he would more than likely be in a huge amount of pain by the time ‘a few moments’ had passed.

Amy was the first to reach Fry.  “Ttwwwiiinnnkkiiessss” the intern moaned.  

Fry looked at the intern for a moment, and then shrugged in resignation.  “Sorry, Amy.”  He said, and then brought his makeshift club down on her head.  Amy collapsed into a heap and didn’t move.  Hermes was next, and Fry dispatched him in the same manner.  The delivery boy was just starting to think that this wasn’t going to be as hard as he’d thought when a stray gauss round flew past his ear.  

“Professor, hurry up!”  Fry ducked, and Leela’s fist went sailing over his head.  Fry lunged with his club, and Leela got out of the way, but the board got a lucky glancing hit on her pistol, and the weapon went flying off into the molten lava below.  Fry grinned at his victory, and then immediately let out a grunt when Leela’s knee connected with his midsection.

Zombies shouldn’t be allowed to know kung–fu.  Fry  decided.  It isn’t fair.  The force of Leela’s blow knocked Fry onto his back.  He raised his club, but Leela’s roundhouse kick easily snapped it in half.  Fry squealed like a little girl.

As Fry backed away in terror from this drooling, moaning, ass-kicking harbinger of doom that had descended upon him, he bumped into something solid and metal.  The delivery boy looked up and saw Bender standing over him.

“Oh hey, meatpouch.  I think the old guy wants me to give this to you.”  The robot held out his hand, revealing a filled syringe.  Fry took the needle a split second before a black boot sailed over his head and took Bender’s head right off his body, sending it and the robot’s body toppling into the red-hot lake of molten rock.  Leela, leering wickedly, leaned down over Fry’s prostrate form.  

“Please Leela, don’t!”  Fry pleaded, and the cyclops froze, as if somewhere, deep down, she recognized him.  A few seconds passed in silence, and then, to Fry’s relief, Leela smiled at him.  The PE Captain reached out and touched him lightly on the shoulder, and Fry broke into a relieved grin.  Two milliseconds later, Leela lunged at him.  Fry had just enough time to contemplate the irony of the fact that Leela was finally nibbling on his ear like he had always wanted before ramming Farnsworth’s syringe into her side.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ___________________

“Let’s all agree right now to never talk about any of that again, okay?”  Leela led her fellow employees toward the building’s front entrance.  

There were various mumbled assents from everyone.  Leela had awoken a few moments after Fry had jabbed her.  She’d had no idea what was going on but, based on the fact that she was the only one present who wasn’t apparently a zombie, and that she was also the only one present with a large needle sticking out of her side, she was able to discern the syringe’s purpose.  She easily overpowered her coworkers and injected them with the remaining cure, which, as it turned out, happened to be nothing more than an ultra-effective bear laxative.  It had certainly flushed out whatever it was in the crew’s systems that was causing them to act like mindless zombies, as well as just about everything else.  Bender had filled her in on what had happened when he’d managed to put himself back together and crawl out of the molten lava.

“Alright, then it’s settled.  Today never happened.  Now let’s all get the hell out of here.  I need a drink…  And to get out of these clothes.  They smell like Zoidberg.”

 Fry froze, which caused Amy, who was walking right behind him, to collide with him.  “Hey, wait a minute.  Speaking of Zoidberg, has anyone seen him?”

“Hmm, I don’t seem to remember him being down in the sub basement with the rest of us.”  Farnsworth replied as Leela opened the building’s front door.  “He might still be loose in the building.  One of us should go back and- oh my.”

The city outside the Planet Express building was in flames.  Hordes of zombies wandered aimlessly back and forth in the street outside Planet Express.  Zoidberg was lying in the middle of the nearby intersection, munching on what looked like someone’s arm.  Off in the distance there was the mournful sound of police sirens.  A bolt of lightning ripped across the sky, illuminating the scene in harsh relief.  

The crew cautiously stepped out onto the sidewalk.  A crashed, smoking police cruiser sat abandoned by the curb.  One of the windows was smashed in, and Leela reached inside.  Her hand reappeared an instant later with a double barreled shotgun.  As she hefted the weapon, a newspaper blew by her feet.  The paper proclaimed in bold letters: The dead live!  And they’re ungrateful!

Leela looked around the scene of death and destruction while the light breeze blew her ponytail.  Sighing in resignation, she cocked the weapon.


Starship Captain
« Reply #281 on: 12-02-2008 01:59 »

The zombpocalypse hits Futurama!!

Absolutely amazing story! I was always suspicious of the effects of Twinkies... know I know. Needed something funny after studying... this delivers.

Leela looked around the scene of death and destruction while the light breeze blew her ponytail.  Sighing in resignation, she cocked the weapon.

This is how you survive the zombpocalypse. Not hiding, not crying in a corner, or running madly from the hordes of undead. When the dead rise, you get yourself a shotgun and you DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM. You are either part of the solution, or zombie food.

Great work, sets the bar high for the other entrants! 

Space Pope
« Reply #282 on: 12-02-2008 09:43 »

What a treat.
Excellently entertaining to the nth degree. The piece is imbued with all your trademark style and reads like it was generated effortlessly. You truly just seem to get better and better as a writer. Even in this short work you don't shirk on the sterling characterization, and you never let the daubs and snatches of humor get in the way of the story; or vice versa.

Loved "Survivor: Proxima Centauri" and "It was on my to-do list, I swear!"    laff 
Plus your judicious use of Cubert again.
Oh, and the newspaper headline.
And a lot more.

Typos I caught, in case you wanted to fix them:

you orange-haired neaderthal

Should be "Neanderthal".

The noised were coming from up above.

Should be "noises".

a quick survey of his surrounding

Should be "surroundings".

In sum - Deliciously absurd idea, carried through to impeccable execution.

Here's hoping you place high.

Bending Unit
« Reply #283 on: 12-03-2008 02:05 »

Well, at least I have an idea what I'm competing against.  eek (And it has room for a sequel? Envy!)

On a serious note, that's some solid work. Looks like a distinct raising of my game is required. smile

'Naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies!'

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder

Urban Legend
« Reply #284 on: 12-03-2008 02:50 »

  I was always suspicious of the effects of Twinkies...
  And for good reason.  What exactly does a Twinkie taste like?  Seriously, whatever that taste is, it aint natural.

In sum - Deliciously absurd idea, carried through to impeccable execution.
  Aww, shucks...  big grin  Oh, and thanks for pointing out the typos.  I read over the fic like eight times and didn't see any of them.

Well, at least I have an idea what I'm competing against.
  I'm not sure I'd be worrying about my entry so much as Red_Line's.  That one's going to be hard to beat...

Bending Unit
« Reply #285 on: 12-03-2008 07:45 »

Even as one who hates zombie stories, I enjoyed that one, especially the "Nibblin on his ear line".  Good luck, THM and SO!

Bending Unit
« Reply #286 on: 12-04-2008 03:07 »

JN: Thank you. I'll do my best to live up to your vote of confidence. big grin

SO: Really? His is even better? Aw, hell. Guess I'd better get my ass in gear before I end up coming in last! wink

'Naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies!'

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder

Urban Legend
« Reply #287 on: 12-04-2008 04:50 »

THM: How close to done are you?  The contest ends sunday.

And here's some more Green Storm Rising.  I'm rapidly running out of buffer since that zombie fic took up all of my writing time for the last month.  I'll probably manage to wring another half dozen updates out of what I've got before I have to stop.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _________

Green Storm Rising
Part 2
Chapter 2

After taking a long walk to calm herself, Leela found herself standing in front of the house of her parallel-parents.  The place was exactly the same, down to the one board on the front porch that squeaked when she walked on it.  Automatically Leela reached for the doorknob, but she stopped herself at the last moment.  Technically, this was not her parents’ house.  She couldn’t just walk in.  Suddenly she felt terribly out of place.  This was a mistake.  Leela thought to herself.  I shouldn’t be here.   

Just as she was about to turn away, the front door opened, releasing a pool of warm yellow light into the eternal darkness of the mutant’s sewer village.  “Leela!” Morris exclaimed excitedly upon finding her daughter standing on the front porch.  “I thought I heard that board squeak.  What are you doing standing out here in the cold?  Come on in!”

“It’s like 70 degrees out here, Dad.” Leela replied without thinking.  It wasn’t until Morris had ushered her inside and closed the door behind her that she remembered how uncomfortable she was.  “Umm actually, Mr. Tu- I mean, Dad- I’m not your Leela.  I’m the other Leela, from the parallel timeline.”

Morris nodded and then called over his shoulder.  “Munda, Leela’s here!”  Turning back to Leela, he smiled and put one of his big paws on her shoulder.  “Oh, I know.  Your friend Fry called a little earlier asking if you were here.  He filled us in on what’s going on.”

“Wait, what?  How did…”  But Morris grinned and held up his hand.  “Come on, dinner’s on the table.  We’d better get to the dining room, or there won’t be anything left for us.” 

By this point, Leela was so confused that all she could do was shake her head and follow Morris to the dining room, where she found a scene that made her head spin.  There were not two, but five plates of food sitting on the table: one each for her mother and father, one that was apparently for her, and one each for Fry and Aimee, who were sitting around chatting amicably with Munda.

Fry was the first to notice Leela staring blankly at them with her mouth agape.  “Hi Leela!” He called, gesturing to the sole empty seat.

 “Wh- how?  What?”  Leela took a deep breath.  “Someone please tell me what’s going on before my brain breaks.” She said as she took her seat.

 Morris laughed and slid into his seat.  “You’d better ask your friend Fry.  He’s the one that seems to know you better than you do.”

Leela turned to Fry, not quite sure what to make of her father’s comment.  “I don’t even know which Fry you are.” She said.

The delivery boy caught the lost expression on her face and grinned at her.  “I’m your- I mean, the Fry from your timeline, Leela.”

“What’s going on?  What did Dad mean by ‘knowing me better than myself’?”

“I just thought you might, you know, need some cheering up after Aimee told you that you were stuck here for awhile, so when I got to this timeline I called Aimee.  We were gonna surprise you at your apartment, but you’d already left, so I called your parents and asked if they’d mind telling you that we were looking for you.”

And, of course, Mom, being Mom, immediately invited both of them over for dinner.  “But how on Earth did you know I was coming here?”

Fry shrugged.  “Cuz that’s what Tura said she was going to do.  All you had in your refrigerator was this casserole thing, and it smelled awful.” 

Leela blinked at the grossed out face that Fry made.  How would he know what it smelled like, unless…  “Fry, what exactly were you doing in my apartment?”

Fry paused for a moment, surprised.  “Huh?  Oh, nothing.  Tura invited me over for a few minutes.”


“I walked home with her, and she invited me in for a drink.”  He shrugged.  “We talked for a few minutes while she hunted for something to make herself for dinner, and then I left.”  He gave his Captain a confused look.  “Did I do something wrong?” 

Leela was so stunned that she barely managed to squeeze out an unconvincing “no, nothing.”

“You sure?”

Leela nodded weakly.

“Uh, alright.  Well, anyway, Tura said she was going to go eat at her- well, I guess, they’re actually your- parents’ house.”

“Did she invite you?”  Leela had no idea why the question had come bursting out of her.  For some reason it was very important to her that she know the answer.

“Oh, I didn’t ask.  I’d already promised one of the Benders- I don’t remember which one it was anymore- that I’d go drinking with him tonight."

Well, at least she didn’t invite him to go with her to dinner.  All he did was walk home from work with her, it’s not like he- Wait, why am I reassuring myself that nothing happened?  First of all, I shouldn’t care, and second of all, nothing happened!  “So, what, you and Phil switched timelines and you figured I’d make the same decision that Tura had and head over here?”

Aimee spoke up from across the table.  “It’s not that crazy, Leela.” She said.  “You and Tura are exactly the same; of course you’re going to have the same thoughts and feelings.”  There was a beat.  “Say, you don’t look so good.  Are you alright?”

Leela grimaced.  No, she wasn’t, though she had no idea what her problem was at the moment.  “Yeah, yeah.  I’m okay.  I just haven’t eaten anything edible in like forever.  That tuna thing tasted even worse than it smelled.”  Leela pointedly began shoveling food into her mouth.

Morris chuckled at Leela’s sudden gusto.  “That’s my girl.  See Munda, I told you she takes after me.”

“Except she’s not twenty pounds overweight.” Munda teased, prompting Fry and Amy to each suppress a laugh.

“Hey, I told you, I’m starting a new diet.”  He hesitated and shot a glance at his plate.  “Just not tonight.”

“Right, just like you were going to start a diet six months ago?  Or how you’ve been planning to start fixing that squeaky board on the front porch for more than a year?”

“I did start a diet six months ago, and I stuck with it too.”

“You’ve been eating four full meals every day!”

Morris laughed.  “Yeah, so imagine how much I’d be eating if I wasn’t dieting.”  He winked at Leela, and Leela smiled back politely around a mouthful of food.  Normally she loved it when her parents’ pretended to tease each other like this.  But the weirdness of the whole situation was just too much, and she was still busily trying to figure out why she’d reacted so strangely to finding out that Fry had been to her apartment. 
_____________________________ _____________________________ ____________________

Dinner didn’t take long, not with Fry and Morris there.  It seemed like the two of them together managed to devour more food in that one sitting than Leela had eaten in the last week.  Fry kept making a big show of finding everything delicious, which annoyed Leela and thrilled Munda to no end.  Leela managed to keep from rolling her eye at the delivery boy’s faux-enthusiasm, but only for her parallel-parents’ sakes.  The Turangas didn’t have many guests over for dinner, and especially not from the surface.  Having someone from above ground praise her food- even if it was Fry- would put Munda in a good mood for a week at least.

When the last of the food had vanished into Fry’s insatiable stomach, Munda got up to clear the dishes.  Leela immediately got up to help, as, predictably, did Fry.  The doorbell rang amidst the clatter of dishes, and Morris went to go answer it.

Leela leaned over Aimee’s shoulder to get her plate, and Aimee, looking like she knew she was supposed to be doing something but unable to figure out what, whispered in Leela’s ear.  “Leela, what’s going on?”

“We’re cleaning up the dishes.”

Amy was startled. “Why?  Is the butler sick?”

Grunting, Leela picked up the dish and walked away.  Aimee started to follow but paused to pick up a single fork that was still on the table.  She regarded the little instrument and then watched as Leela disappeared into the kitchen.  Shrugging, she moved to follow.

Two minutes later Leela was standing by the doorway to the kitchen, trying desperately not to laugh as Fry and Munda tried to teach Aimee how to wash dishes in a sink.  The intern seemed unable to believe that the mutants had somehow ‘invented’ a way to clean dishes without using a mechanical washing unit.  Of course, soon she’d discover that the soapy water was pruning up her hands, which would be even more fun to watch.

Suddenly Leela was aware of a presence behind her.  She turned to find her parallel father standing nearby, a worried look on his face.  Before Leela could say anything, Morris put a hand to his lips and gestured for her to follow him. 

Morris led Leela down the hall to the family room.  When he was sure they were out of earshot of the rest of the group, he motioned for Leela to take a seat in one of the old, faded armchairs and then sat across from her on the couch.  Mittens, who had been asleep on the couch, woke with a start and scampered away.

“Okay, Dad.  What’s this about?” Leela prompted when Morris didn’t immediately say anything.

“Shh, not so loud.  I don’t want your mother to overhear this until I’ve had a chance to talk to her alone.”  Morris looked around him, but there had been no changes in the noises coming from the kitchen.  “That was Raoul at the door just now.  He had some… bad news.”

“About the sewer renovation?” Leela guessed

“Yes.  A big construction crew just blew up a section of sewer over on 3rd Avenue in the Bronx.”

Leela’s eye went wide.  “Was anybody hurt?” She asked.

Thankfully, Morris shook his head.  “No.  Luckily there weren’t any mutants living there.  But it still means that the Mayor is serious about this.  He’s really going to try and force us out.”

Leela cursed loudly, and then looked toward her para-father apologetically.  Morris just shrugged.  “That’s pretty much what I was thinking too.” He said.

 “So what are the mutants planning to do?” Leela asked. 

“We’re having a big town meeting in a few minutes to decide what to do.” Morris said.  “And I’d like you to come.”

“Me?” Leela was taken aback.  “Why?”

Morris, obviously torn, wrestled with himself for a moment before he spoke again.  “I really hate putting you in this situation, Leela, but we need someone who has above ground experience.  You know how things work up there; most of the rest of us haven’t even seen above-grounders- except for your friends that you bring down here every once in awhile.  I know you’re not really from this timeline, so it’s not fair to ask you to do any of this.  But, well, we could really use your help.”

Leela stood.  “Of course I’ll help!” She exclaimed.  “You’re my parents, remember?” 

Morris smiled and took her hand.  “Thank you.” He said softly.

“Can I help too?” Leela and Morris whirled to find Fry leaning against a doorway at the far end of the room.  A half eaten cookie was in his right hand.  The other half made a prominent bulge in the side of his mouth, giving him the appearance of a chipmunk suffering a stroke. 
“Fry?  How long have you been standing there?” Leela asked, more surprised than angry.

“Meh, long enough.” Fry replied around a mouthful of sewer chip cookie. 

Morris hesitated for a moment.  “I really appreciate the offer, but I don’t think we can ask you to-“

“You don’t have to.” Fry interrupted with a shrug.  “I volunteered.”  The gallantry of the statement was all but ruined by the spray of cookie crumbs that spewed from his lips.

Bending Unit
« Reply #288 on: 12-05-2008 01:55 »

THM: How close to done are you?  The contest ends sunday.

Oh, I'm just about done, except for a bit of last-minute tweaking. Believe me, I'm having a hard time forgetting the deadline.  eek

And another section of GSR, yay! And the plot thickens...

'Naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies, naked ladies!'

- Justice Snoop Dogg, Into the Wild Green Yonder

Space Pope
« Reply #289 on: 12-05-2008 03:57 »

I'll probably manage to wring another half dozen updates out of what I've got before I have to stop.

Oh - come on, only a half dozen more?  roll eyes  Before you might have to stop with the frenetic pace for a while?  Honestly, it's perfectly all right to slow down a little, for real.. tongue  ...you've been churning out the stuff enough.

The Turangas didn't have many guests over for dinner, and especially not from the surface.  Having someone from above ground praise her food- even if it was Fry- would put Munda in a good mood for a week at least.

That's reminiscent of the scene where they have Zoidberg over for dinner in Bender's Game.

Very 'domestic' chapter.. Just somehow this section didn't quite seem like 'you' to some extent? But good that you still worked in the plot development there towards the end. And personally I think I'd rather have a Twinkie than a "sewer chip cookie".

(Does remind me of Fry eating the cookie in Death Clock Countdown, however.  Nice callback/tribute if intentional).

Bending Unit
« Reply #290 on: 12-05-2008 18:24 »

Very 'domestic' chapter.. Just somehow this section didn't quite seem like 'you' to some extent? But good that you still worked in the plot development there towards the end. And personally I think I'd rather have a Twinkie than a "sewer chip cookie".

I think what Kim is trying to say, nicely, is that nothing exploded in this update, literally or figuratively.  (I thought the sewer chip cookie might have been a promising candidate).

Urban Legend
« Reply #291 on: 12-05-2008 19:20 »

I think what Kim is trying to say, nicely, is that nothing exploded in this update, literally or figuratively
  I lol'd when I read that.  Yes, it was me that wrote it, though it does look like something my evil, bearded twin might come up with...  I think Disillusionment has me a little explosioned-out at the moment.  I'm trying to concentrate more on character development with this fic, at least for the first part.


Space Pope
« Reply #292 on: 12-05-2008 20:03 »

Yeah, no, as I've already told JN, that's not really what I meant... for the record I'm not much one for explosions, either way, but I guess I just generally prefer the 'sciencey and funny' genre of fanficking, that's all. But that's just me, obviously.

If one can do drama the way JN and also you, sO, in your previous works, handle it, without descending into angst or of course melodrama, then I can love that as well.
'Emotion' does not have to = 'Melodrama'.
(Or angst).
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #293 on: 12-05-2008 23:01 »

Different Strokes type of thing about what to like in a fan fic.  One of my favorites is Missy's "Delicious Surprise" - a very nice, shippy fic.  Considering that I've become the Ultimate Anti-shipper after enduring Bender's Big Score, you know it has to be good if I like it.

Also, I've heard from two sources that DXC had his ass handed to him at Comic con this year from some very disillusioned Futuram fans who were complaining about the quality of the movies.  If somehow the series gets more episodes ordered (even though DXC wants a theatrical release - not hardly), maybe the writers should take a look at some of the better fics to get an idea of how to handle the characters and to get any idea of what the fans like/want.

Bending Unit
« Reply #294 on: 12-07-2008 00:58 »
« Last Edit on: 12-07-2008 01:00 »

If somehow the series gets more episodes ordered (even though DXC wants a theatrical release - not hardly), maybe the writers should take a look at some of the better fics to get an idea of how to handle the characters and to get any idea of what the fans like/want.

Not likely.  I pointed out JBerges to DXC at the preview of BBS, mentioning he was one of the best-known fanfic writers.  DXC looked uncomfortable, like I had just offered to sell him a timeshare.  He said that for legal reasons none of the team can read fanfiction.  Which is understandable, and is standard policy.

That aside, I agree the stories being currently posted hold their own against the movies.  Unfortunately, I've become addicted to House M.D. so I chanced reading a few fanfics about House/Cuddy and *uurrkk*.  Definitely better writing here.

Have I rambled enough yet?

Starship Captain
« Reply #295 on: 12-07-2008 01:03 »

  He said that for legal reasons none of the team can read fanfiction.  Which is understandable, and is standard policy.

Makes sense, intellectual property gets touchy.

Urban Legend
« Reply #296 on: 12-14-2008 02:21 »

Part 2
Chapter 3

The meeting was held outside Undercity Hall, a ramshackle conglomeration of plywood, tin, and miscellaneous detritus that served as the mutants’ administrative center.  Raoul, recently re-elected Supreme Mutant, stood behind a podium on the building’s front steps.  On the podium was the mutant’s green and brown seal, upon which were written the words ‘E Pluribus Mutatum.’ 

Leela took a look around her.  The crumbling boardwalk upon which this part of town was built was packed with mutants of every size, color, and description imaginable, and a few that bordered on unimaginable.  Fry, Morris, and Munda were there with her.  Aimee, claiming that she had an early morning class at Mars U that she absolutely couldn’t sleep through, had apologized and headed for the surface.  Leela thought it much more likely that the intern was just uncomfortable with the prospect of standing around with hundreds of mutants, but decided not to hold it against her.  Aimee had been perfectly nice to her parallel-parents; that’s all she could reasonably ask.

Fry tapped Leela on the shoulder.  “I didn’t even know there were this many mutants.” He whispered.  “How can this many people live down here?”

Fry’s usage of the word ‘people’ didn’t go unnoticed by Leela or her parallel-parents.  Morris gave Fry a long look, as if re-evaluating him. “It’s a big sewer system.” Leela explained. 

A hush fell over the crowd.  Raoul was preparing to speak.

“My fellow mutant-Americans” the supreme mutant began.  “Today we are plunged into a crisis the likes of which we have never seen.  Several hours ago, working under the authorization of the Mayor of New New York, maintenance crews entered the sewers in the first phase of a project designed to completely redesign and overhaul the entire sewer system.”

A nervous murmur rolled through the crowd but was quickly cut off when Raoul began again to speak.  “As of this moment, above-grounder maintenance crews are rerouting sewage away from several locations in order to prepare these areas for reconstruction.  The rerouted sewage has already caused minor to moderate flooding of homes in the communities of Ratview and Sludgeton.  FEMA- the Federal Emergency Mutant Association- has been dispatched to help, and you should start to see aid flowing into the hardest hit areas within a matter of years- er, I mean days.   There have also been reports that an abandoned stretch of tunnel in the Bronx has been demolished by some sort of controlled explosion, although, thankfully, there were no casualties.  Until a solution can be found to this problem, we must all expect the demolition to continue.  Everyone should be vigilant for the sound of flash floods, and immediately report any above-grounder activity.  Your government is working on a way to bargain with the above-ground government and to resolve this crisis.  I will pass on any new information as soon as I have it.  Thank you.”  Raoul stepped down from the podium and disappeared into Undercity Hall.

Fry and Leela turned to look at each other.  “That was it?” They both said at once.

Morris inserted himself between the two of them.  “That’s it for the public.” He said.  “We’re here for the real meeting.  Come on.”  He began to push himself through the gradually dispersing crowd.  Leela, Fry, and Munda followed in the wake that Morris left as he shouldered his way toward the podium.  A few other mutants joined them as they reached the bottom of the building’s plywood steps.  Leela recognized Vyolet, Dwayne, and Leg Mutant amongst the dozen or so mutants that followed them into Undercity Hall.

The interior of the building was surprisingly impressive.  The place consisted of a single large room with a sloping floor.  A series of benches, arranged into half-circles, filled most of the floor space.  At the far end of the room, at the center of all of the semicircles, was a raised platform upon which sat an impressive-looking podium.  The walls were draped in green and brown cloth of some kind, possibly the remnants of an old Macy’s Parade balloon or two.  A colossal painting of a crocodile clutching a plunger hung over the podium.

“What is this?” Fry asked, a little intimidated by the fancy surroundings.

“It’s like the senate, except all the senators are mutants.” Leela replied.

“Oh… So what’s the difference?” 

“There really isn’t any.”

The little procession made its way toward the innermost semicircle of benches, where Raoul was waiting for them.  Fry, Leela, and the mutants settled into a tight cluster in the middle of the first three rows of benches.  Raoul, who was seated on the foremost bench, turned around and waited for everyone to get situated.

“That was a nice speech.” Vyolet said.

“Thanks.” Raoul replied, acknowledging the complement with a nod.  “It took forever to find toilet paper that was tough enough to write it on.  Now, I’ve called you all here for a reason.  I need your help figuring out how to deal with this crisis.”

“But shouldn’t the government be doing that?” Leg Mutant asked, which got a good laugh from everyone.

“The government, handling an emergency?”  Raoul chuckled.  ”That’s a good one.  I’m glad to see that some of us are still able to keep their sense of humor.  But seriously people, we need to find a solution before things get out of hand.”

 “Can we offer them something to get them to stop?” Leela asked.

Vyolet snorted.  “Offer them what, exactly?  A few metric tons of excess sewage?  Half of our crocodile stock?”

“Alright Vyolet, that’s enough.”  Raoul said gently before turning to Leela.  “To answer your question- no.  We don’t have anything to offer that anyone would want.  We need to think of another way.”

“We could try negotiating with them, president to president.”  Morris offered.  “Kissinger Mutant said-“

“That’s not what Kissinger Mutant said.  I’ve known him for thirty-five years!” Raoul interrupted.  “Besides, we are not legitimizing that tyrant Poopenmeyer by sitting down at a table with him.  Does anybody else have any ideas?”

There was silence for a short while as everyone tried to think, but, eventually, Fry got up the nerve to raise his hand.  “Uhh, excuse me?” He said hesitantly.  “I know I’m not really a mutant or stuff, but I think I have one of those idea thingies.”

Immediately after Fry spoke, Leela heard Vyolet mutter something under her breath.  The PE Captain turned to look at her and discovered that Vyolet was favoring Fry with a nasty look.  When she realized that Leela was watching her, her hostile eyes locked onto Leela’s, challenging her.  Then she turned away.

“Well what is it, dear?” Munda prompted from over Leela’s shoulder.

Fry cleared his throat, obviously nervous.  Remembering the look that Vyolet had just given him, Leela was starting to wonder if he didn’t have a reason to be, though what that reason could be she hadn’t a clue. 

“I mean, it’s sort of a last resort type of thing, but don’t you guys have that unexploded nuclear bomb sitting around here somewhere?”

Everyone stared at Fry, wide eyed.   “Fry, what in Truman’s name are you suggesting?!” Leela gasped.

Fry looked around at the horrified faces that surrounded him and blanched.  “What?  I didn’t mean- I didn’t say we should use it!”  He stammered, aghast.  Leela had barely enough time to hear Vyolet mutter “What do you mean, ‘we’, normal?” under her breath before Fry’s increasingly frantic voice cut her off.  “Geez, don’t you guys know anything about mutually insured destruction?”

Morris scratched his head.  “Mutual insurance?  Does that have something to do with hovercar crashes, or something?”

“No!  Mutually Insured Destruction!  Haven’t any of you ever fought a Cold War?”

“Fry, the common cold was wiped out seven centuries ago.” Leela reminded him gently.  “Although it did put up quite a fight…”

“What?  No, not the common cold!  I said Cold War!”

“What’s a ‘cold war’?” Raoul asked.

Fry sighed in frustration.  “It’s when there’s two sides, and neither of them wants to blow the other side up, but they both pretend that they do so the other side won’t blow them up.  That’s a cold war.” He explained.  “Back in my time, Russia and the United States each wanted to be the biggest, baddest country in the world, but they couldn’t both be in charge, so they built a whole bunch of nukes and big guns and told each other, ‘see, I’ve got all these nukes and big guns, so if you blow me up I’ll blow you up.’”

All eyes were riveted on Fry.  “What happened?” Dwayne asked eagerly when the delivery boy didn’t continue.

“Nothing.” Fry shrugged.  “Russia ran out of money to spend on bombs, and the US won.  Well, at least, until a Russian invented Tetris.”

“That’s it?”  Vyolet blinked.  “That was the worst story ever, you idiot!  We’re mutants; we don’t have lots of money to spend on building weapons to scare the Mayor, and, if we threatened anyone with a nuclear bomb, we wouldn’t be dealing with just the Mayor; we’d be dealing with the military!  They’d dump nerve gas in the sewers and kill us all!”

Fry’s face fell.  “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right.  I’m s-.”  Leela’s hand on his shoulder cut him off before he could finish the apology.  The PE Captain had jumped to her feet and was now glaring flaming daggers in Vyolet’s direction. 

 “Hey, at least Fry’s trying!” She shot back.  “I don’t see you coming up with any better ideas, and what’s your problem all of the sudden, anyway?  You never cared that Fry was a ‘normal’, as you so eloquently put it- before today!”  The other mutants frowned at Leela’s use of the derogatory word. “He may not be one of us, but he’s my friend, so-”

“Us?” Vyolet spat.  “What makes you think that you’re one of us?  You don’t live in the sewers.  Your clothes don’t smell like stale crap.  No one is threatening to level your house just because it’s in an inconvenient place.  You’re just as much of a goddamned normal as he is.”

Now Morris and Munda were on their feet.  Fry, not sure what he was supposed to be doing, got to his feet as well.  “That’s my daughter you’re talking about!” Morris roared.

“People, please!” Raoul pleaded, reaching over the back of his bench to restrain Morris.  “This isn’t helping!”  Something in Raoul’s eyes gave Morris pause.  There was a tense moment where no one was sure what was going to happen, but the big cyclops finally dropped back onto his bench, where he sat simmering quietly to himself.

Raoul turned to Fry and Leela.  “Turanga Leela, you know that you’ll always be one of us.  No one, including Vyolet, thinks you’re an outsider.  Heck, I held you as a baby before your parents did what they had to do to give you a better life, and Leg Mutant was there when you were born.  You’ll always be part of this community, no matter where you live or what your clothes smell like.  And that goes for you too, Fry.  Any friend of the Turangas’ is a friend of all of ours.  We’re just all having trouble dealing with what’s going on.”

“It’s okay.” Fry immediately said, shrugging.  “No biggie.”

Leela wasn’t quite so easily assuaged.  Fry didn’t have the background to know the significance of what had just happened.  Being called a ‘normal’ was about the worst insult imaginable among the sewer mutants.  It was like being called a fat hippie Nazi used car salesman lawyer, or maybe a senator.  Still, the meeting was too important to let it be ruined by infighting.  She could kick Vyolet’s ass afterwards at her leisure.  “Thank you, Raoul.” She managed, and regained her seat, which prompted Vyolet to stand, make an offensive noise, and stomp away.

“Well, now that that’s over, does anybody else have any ideas?”

Raoul’s question was met with silence that seemed to stretch on and on forever.   Everyone was thinking the same thing, that there was nothing that they could do.  How could a few thousand sewer mutants stand up to the almost unlimited power of the Upper City?  The mutants had no resources, nothing of value to bargain with, no political power…  They were completely and utterly at the mercy of New New York.  They were an afterthought, as easily forgotten as a made-for-television DVD. 

Munda sighed.  “That’s it.  There’s nothing we can do.  We might as well start looking for a new place to live right now so we can be ready for them to come tear our houses down.”

Leela didn’t like the tone of resignation in her parallel-mother’s voice, but she couldn’t come up with anything to say that wouldn’t sound empty and meaningless.  Fry gave her a pained look and made as if to speak, but cut himself off.  “Fry, what is it?”  Leela asked, making sure to be loud enough for everyone to hear.  “Do you have another idea?”  The instincts that Leela had picked up during her time as Captain were telling her that something needed to be done about morale.  Even if Fry said something stupid it might help break this mood.

“Yeah, I mean, well, no.  It’s just that- there’s just something I don’t get.”

“What don’t you get?”

Fry frowned as if he knew what he was about to say was going to come across as moronic.  “Why can the Mayor do this?  He’s taking away your rights.”

Leela winced.  Reminding the sewer mutants that she and Fry had rights that they did not wasn’t going to help matters.  I should have just let him keep his mouth shut.  “Fry” she whispered pointedly, “maybe you and I should have that conversation later.”

Unfortunately, as was often the case, getting Fry to close his mouth was much more difficult than getting it open in the first place.  “Thomas Edison once said that every man has the right to life, puberty, and the pursuit of campiness.  Or something like that.  Why aren’t you all out protesting this?”

Morris cleared his throat.  “Because we’re not allowed on the surface.  And the Mayor isn’t taking away our rights.  Only people who live on the surface have any rights.”


“It’s true.” Leg Mutant said sadly.  “We’re not even Earthican citizens.”

“You’re illegal aliens?”  Fry asked incredulously.

Leela sighed.  “No Fry, they’re not illegal aliens.  The government just doesn’t want to acknowledge their existence.  Mutants are sort of like the leprechauns of your day.  Everyone knows that they’re real, but no one really wants to admit it.” 

“Then why can’t you make them admit it?”


“By writing a mutant Bill of Rights, and nailing it to the Mayor’s door.”

There was a collective gasp.  “But Fry,” Raoul protested, “none of us have any experience writing political documents.  We wouldn’t have a clue how to even begin!”

Chuckling, Fry cracked his knuckles.  “Then this is your lucky day.  It just so happens I took a government class in high school… three times!”

 “But, even if we manage to write it, how will we get the Bill to the Mayor if we can’t step foot on the surface?”

“I’ll do it.” Leela volunteered, but Fry immediately shook his head.

“No you won’t.”

Leela blinked, surprised.  “What?  I won’t? Why not?”

“Because it’s too dangerous.  The Mayor already thinks you might be a mutant. If you get caught…”  The delivery boy fell silent.

“He’s right, Leela.”  Munda said.  “It’s too risky.  Someone else will have to go.”

Of course, everyone present knew that that someone would have to be Fry.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #297 on: 12-14-2008 21:41 »

Hm. I'm a little torn about this part. Individually, all of Fry's ideas and comments are very Fry-ish, and very good, so I can understand you wanting to put them all in, but it just seems like Fry is being too much of an idea-factory, especially compared to everyone else. It's not that anything he's doing is out of character, it's that he seems like he's doing too much. That's my only gripe, really. Other than that great work as always, I'm looking forward to more.

Urban Legend
« Reply #298 on: 12-14-2008 22:01 »

eh, fair enough.  I just got tired of Leela being the one who always comes up with the plans to save the day.  Plus, Leela is going to make some errors in judgment later on, and I didn't want to add to that by having her be the source of this idea too.  Maybe I should have had the mutants come up with at least one suggestion on their own.

Space Pope
« Reply #299 on: 12-14-2008 22:09 »

The mutants have always struck me as very passive, by and large. Though there are obviously some exceptions to that. That really only leaves Leela and Fry, and I can entirely understand why you wanted to have Fry be the active character for a change. It's just tough to successfully write him that way.
La Belle Leela

Starship Captain
« Reply #300 on: 12-14-2008 22:16 »

The mutants have always struck me as very passive, by and large. Though there are obviously some exceptions to that. That really only leaves Leela and Fry, and I can entirely understand why you wanted to have Fry be the active character for a change. It's just tough to successfully write him that way.
Same with me, I believe the mutants are passive, but only to a certain degree. I think they would be curious, but not hostile if a surface-dweller was to enter their realm. However, if that surface-dweller went down there with malicious intent, either to them, or their environment, the mutants would teach that surface-dweller a new definition of hell!

Space Pope
« Reply #301 on: 12-15-2008 04:48 »

Woooo, mutant-fight.  I enjoyed your depiction of the mutants in this part, particularly Vyolet; nice bestowing of some depth to a marginal character there, though it's intriguing that she would really be so hostile towards Fry.  I suppose it's somewhat true that it's pretty rare for Fry to come up with a workable idea, but this -

Plus, Leela is going to make some errors in judgment later on, and I didn't want to add to that by having her be the source of this idea too.

seems to indicate that it's not exactly a sterling one? Spoilers!! So there are obviously going to be further complications, of course.

More interesting also is the fact that 'this' timeline's pairing of Fry and Leela are going to be involved with the whole mutant-deal, and I await to see what might happen when and if they 'change places' again.

Urban Legend
« Reply #302 on: 12-15-2008 05:11 »

The mutants have always struck me as very passive, by and large. Though there are obviously some exceptions to that.

Yeah, they're pretty passive when it comes to their lot in life, but, on the other hand, they did try to mutate Fry and Leela, and then were about to kill them until Morris and Munda intervened.

seems to indicate that it's not exactly a sterling one? Spoilers!! So there are obviously going to be further complications, of course.
  Let's just say that it starts off as a good idea, but things don't go quite as planned...

More interesting also is the fact that 'this' timeline's pairing of Fry and Leela are going to be involved with the whole mutant-deal

not quite.  Leela is stuck in the beta timeline, but Fry is still jumping back and forth randomly.  It'll be Leela and Phil (the other Fry) who get to deal with alot of what happens next.


Urban Legend
« Reply #303 on: 01-04-2009 04:47 »
« Last Edit on: 01-04-2009 04:50 »

Okay, so here's the deal.  I'm bored and out of things to do, so I'm going to update GSR.  This hasn't been beta'd, so please excuse the odd grammar / punctuation problem.  I've been told that this part reads like I'm "stalling for time" in places.  I tried to fix that by deleting some excess stuff, but I can still see why you might feel like the story sort of bogs down here.  Just trust me when I say there's a reason why I'm paying so much attention to Vyolet and the contrast between Leela's life and that of the mutants.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _________________

Part 2
Chapter 4

When the meeting ended, Leela said goodbye to her parallel-parents, who still had a few things to discuss with Raoul.  She and Fry- who had the newly minted mutant Bill of Rights tucked under one arm- made their way toward the door and emerged onto the small landing from which Raoul had made his speech to the public.  When they’d made it about halfway down the shoddy staircase, Fry went tense.  Leela turned to follow his gaze and saw Vyolet standing under a nearby lamppost across the boardwalk from the base of the stairs.  She was watching them.

What is her deal?  Leela wondered.  I’ve known her for years.  Well, technically it’s a different her, but they should be exactly the same.  Why does this Vyolet hate people that live on the surface so much? 

Fry caught Leela’s glance in Vyolet’s direction.  “What should we do?” He asked uncertainly.

In response, Leela grabbed him firmly by the arm and guided him to the bottom of the stairs.  She immediately turned left and began briskly walking away.  Regardless of the thoughts she’d had of knocking Vyolet’s lights out back in the town hall meeting, she really didn’t want a confrontation.  Adding a few more dents to the mutant’s face wouldn’t serve any purpose, and besides, in Leela’s timeline, the two of them were friends.

But Vyolet hadn’t just been standing around idly; she’d been waiting for the two of them.  As Leela half dragged Fry down the boardwalk she could hear the clunk of Vyolet’s hurried footsteps as she hurried to catch up.  “Hey, Leela!  Wait!”

Leela’s grip on Fry’s arm tightened subconsciously and then relaxed as she came to a stop and waited for Vyolet to catch up.  I don’t need this right now.  She grumbled silently to herself as she let go of Fry to cross her arms across her chest.

 Vyolet skidded to a stop in front of them a few moments later, lungs- and gills- heaving.  “I’m sorry.”  She said between coughs.  Leela was more than a little alarmed by the amount of trouble that Vyolet was having breathing; she’d only run a hundred meters or so.  She’d told Vyolet several times that she needed to ease up on the smoking.  Leela made a mental note to redouble her nagging when she got back to her timeline.  Assuming I want to continue being Vyolet’s friend when I get back to my timeline.

“Look Leela, I’m really sorry.  I didn’t mean all of that stuff I said in there.”

“It sure sounded like you meant it to me.” Leela retorted.

“I didn’t.  Really.  It’s just, well, like Raoul said.  We’re all going through some seriously tough times right now.  But it’s the other people who live on the surface that I’m mad at.  Not you.”

“I don’t think saying you’re sorry quite cuts it in this case, Vy.  You basically said I don’t belong down here, and you called Fry a normal.  A normal.”

Fry looked at Leela in confusion.  “So?” He said.  “I don’t get it.  I am a normal.  What’s the big deal?”

“The big deal” Leela replied “is that being called a normal is the worst insult in the book.  It’s like being called, uh…  It’s like being called Saddam Hussein, or Dr. Kevorkian.”


Leela sighed.  “Judas?”  Fry shook his head.  “How about Rupert Murdoch?”  Blank stare.  “Ugh.  Darth Vader?”  Fry’s face went white.

“I know I screwed up.” Vyolet continued.  “But I want to make it up to you, to show that I really mean I’m sorry.”

“Make it up, how?” Leela asked skeptically.

 “By helping you guys out.  I can’t go up to the surface like you can, but I can help keep track of what’s going on down here in the sewers.”

“Well, uh, thanks.” Leela said.  “But Fry and I aren’t in charge.  We’re doing what we can, but if you really do want to help out you should probably talk to Raoul.  He’s the one who-”

Vyolet laughed.  “Raoul?  Hah.  What can he do?  Sure, he’s the one who’ll decide where to put the people who’re being forced out of their homes, but he doesn’t have any more power than any of the rest of us.  We’re mutants, Leela.”  Vyolet hastily put up a hand to silence Leela before she could reply.  “Yeah, you’re a mutant too.  I know.  And you really are one of us.  I just said you weren’t before because I’m jealous.  Horribly, horribly jealous.”

“What?”  Leela blinked a couple of times.  “Uhh look, my life might not be quite as great as you’ve been led to believe.”

“Leela, you live in an apartment.  An apartment.  I’ve never even seen one of those except on television.  You get to walk around on the surface whenever you want.  You’ve been to space.  Most of us only even see stars a few times a year, and only through the grating in a storm drain.  You get to vote, to buy your clothes in a store that gets their goods from a warehouse instead of from city dumpsters.  You-”

“Alright, I get the message.” Leela interrupted.  Man, no wonder she was angry at me.  Here I am in my clean clothes, designer wristolojackomater, and contact lens, smelling of perfume and nothing else, and she has to swallow the fact that she has none of it.  Maybe she had a point when she called me an outsider.  “I guess I forget that I have some things I take for granted that you guys don’t.  I don’t mean to rub it in your face.”

Vyolet shook her head.  “Oh, I know you don’t.  And after I went stomping out of the town hall meeting and had some time to cool down I realized that I was being an absolute tapeworm for being angry with you for having things that I don’t.  It’s not your fault that I’m stuck down here in the sewers and you’re not; that’s just genetics- the luck of the draw.    You’re really trying to help us- which I remembered eventually.  And you’re the only one who can help us because you have all of those things that we don’t.  You can walk around on the surface.  You can petition the Mayor.  And you’ve got nor-, uh, non-mutant friends that want to help out.”  Vyolet nodded in Fry’s direction.  “I’d be stupid to not want your help, Leela.”

“Well, now hold on.”  Leela cautioned.  “Don’t get your hopes up.  Just because there’s a document somewhere that says I have the right to this and that doesn’t mean I have any real power.  The government pretty much does what it wants.  The only right they really worry about very much is the right to pay taxes.”

“You’re still our best shot.  Which is why helping you any way I can is the best thing I can do.  Raoul is technically in charge of the government down here, but he knows as well as anyone else that it’s you that’s going to solve this mess, not him.  You do know that everyone walked into that town hall meeting knowing that everything hinged on how much you were willing to do for us, right?”

Leela tried to digest that little bit of information, but her brain was unable to formulate a response.  Eventually she just gave up and didn’t say anything.

Vyolet laughed at Leela’s blank expression.  “Man, I really was out of line saying that bad stuff about you.  You’ve got to be the most modest surface dweller I’ve ever met.  Well, of the few I’ve met, anyway, which means you, the friends you’ve brought down here, and that one bum who’d been sleeping in a ditch and got washed down a storm drain during a thunderstorm one night…  Oh, by the way, what is the plan for handling this?  You did come up with one, right?”

“Actually yes, there is a plan.  But I didn’t come up with it.  It was Fry’s idea.”  She gestured to the document that was still tucked tightly under Fry’s right arm.  “We’re going to go plantl a mutant Bill of Rights in the Mayor's office.  That ought to get the media all fired up, maybe enough to make Poopenmeyer worried enough about his image to stop the renovation. It’s a long shot, but it’s better than doing nothing.”

“Uh, Leela?” Fry asked hesitantly. 

Leela turned to face the delivery boy.  “Yes?”

“I don’t know what’s going on.”

Oh.  “Phil?”

“Yeah.  I just popped in here.”

Leela hesitated when she remembered that she was still in the middle of a conversation.  Morris and Munda knew that she wasn’t the Leela from this timeline, but so far she hadn’t told any of the other mutants, and explaining all of that to Vyolet now when the two of them were still on shaky terms wasn’t a good idea. 

Vyolet glanced back and forth between Phil and Leela.  “What’s going on?”

Leela tried her best at nonchalance.  “Hmm?  Oh nothing.  Fry’s just, ah, feeling a bit ill.  It happens to people who spend most of their time on the surface.  The radiation down here can make you feel lightheaded.”

“What?  I’m not sick.  I just crossed over from the other timel-”  Leela’s glare stopped Phil in his tracks.  “I’ll shut up now.” He amended, wisely.

“Will he be alright?” Vyolet asked.

“Yeah, he’ll be fine.  But I’d better get him back to the surface right away.”

“Oh, okay, sure.  The nearest manhole is over-”

“I know where it is.”  Leela replied, a little more forcefully than she’d intended.

“Right, of course you do.  Sorry.”

“It’s fine.”  Leela grabbed Phil- who was still completely silent- by the arm and began to pull him down the boardwalk. 
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________

Pop.  Suddenly Fry was in a tubeway, hurtling headfirst over a dimly illuminated New New York street.  The abrupt change in his surroundings caused his body to stiffen reflexively, which was a bad thing, because, at that precise moment, he arrived at the end of the tube and was spit out into the air about three feet above the ground.  Moments later he was lying on his back, groaning and rubbing the spot on his head where the twelve pack of beer cans- which apparently he’d been carrying for some reason- had decided to give him the gift of its momentum.  A couple of pedestrians slowed down to stare at him as he slowly collected himself from the pavement, but, this being New New York, no one offered to help.

“Oh man, my head.” Fry moaned as he bent down to retrieve the booze.  His skull was pounding like a Hollaren musk ox during mating season; he was having trouble just trying to keep his balance.  Now, over the years, Fry had experienced enough blows to the head to be quite familiar with what they felt like, and this wasn’t it.  I’m drunk.  He realized with confusion.  How can I be drunk?  I haven’t had a beer in more than a day!  He looked down at the case of beer and, bending down, retrieved it from where it had come to rest on its side.  Then he remembered what his original plans had been for the evening before he’d ended up over in the beta timeline: to go drinking with Bender.  Bender must have gone drinking with that jerk Phil, instead.  Great.  So now I get to deal with the hangover Phil gave my body while he gets to be with Leela, all nice and sober.

The walk back to Robot Arms was a bit long, but the weather was nice and the cool air and light exercise helped to clear Fry’s head a little.  When he arrived at his apartment he was a bit surprised to find the front door standing open.  Bender’s room was empty, but when Fry opened the door to his closet he was met with a scene that made his heart skip a beat.  Bender was lying face down in the middle of the floor, surrounded by broken beer bottles, articles of clothing, and smashed furniture.  The place looked like it had been through World War Eight. 

“Bender!  Bender, are you alright?!”  Fry ran to his roommate and began to shake him as hard as he could.  The five hundred pound robot moaned softly and rolled onto his side, muttering something that was too garbled for Fry to make out.

“What?  Who did this to you?  Was it ghosts?”

“Best.  Party.  Ever.”  The robot said again, and then, collapsing to the floor, began snoring loudly.

Fry sighed and stood up.  Stupid robot.  I just hope none of that broken furniture is mine.  The delivery boy tiptoed around a pile of clothing which, when he accidentally tripped over it, turned out to be an unconscious floozybot wrapped in a bed sheet.  One of Fry’s bed sheets.  Don’t think about it.  Fry told himself.  That was not a fembot in one of your sheets, which means there were no robots doing anything gross in your room.

Luckily, when Fry opened the door to his bedroom, there really weren’t any robots doing gross things.  In fact, the place looked like it had been spared most of the ‘fun’ that had occurred on the other side of the door.  Although, really, Fry’s bedroom was such a mess anyway that it was hard to tell.

Fry grabbed a few anti-hangover detox pills from an overturned pill bottle and let himself drop onto his bed, which provoked a series of creaking protests from the worn out springs in its stained mattress.  Lying down felt incredibly good, so incredibly good that he immediately decided that he wasn’t going to move an inch until the next morning.  But then, just before he was about to close his eyes and let himself sink into sleep, he noticed a piece of paper sitting on the mattress beside him.  Rolling onto his left side, he picked the sheet of paper up and brought it closer to his face.  It was a note, written in his own handwriting:

If you read this before tomorrow afternoon, sorry about the hangover.  Bender put rubbing alcohol in my beer again.  Good thing you keep your antidote in the same place I do, so I didn’t go blind again at least.  Tura called asking about what’s going on in the other timeline.  I think she’s mad at me again. 


Grudgingly, Fry hauled himself to a sitting position.  He’d forgotten about Tura.  She had been nice to him so far today, no reason to spoil it by risking making her angry by not telling her what was going on back in her timeline.  Although, do I really want to call her this late?  It’s already 11pm.  He debated his options for a moment, but eventually decided that it was smarter to risk angering Tura by waking her now- when she was several kilometers away in her own apartment- than to risk angering her the next morning by revealing- in person, and therefore, within range of an ass kicking- that he hadn’t immediately told her what was going on.

Fry rolled over onto his stomach and reached under his bed.  His hand came across several things crammed into the narrow space: a few wads of clothing, what felt like old pizza, a couple of Slurm cans, something amorphous and squishy that- if Fry hadn’t known better- almost sounded like it squealed when he touched it….  Finally his hand closed around a familiar shape, and the redhead pulled his telephone up onto the bed next to him.  He dialed the number for Leela’s apartment and waited.  There was no answer, which either meant that Tura was ignoring the phone, or that she was still out somewhere.  Fry decided to try her cellphone- if that’s what you were supposed to call a phone built into a device worn around the wrist.

Tura picked up after two rings.  A dull, washed out hologram of her head and upper body appeared in the air over Fry’s phone. 


“Hi Tura.  It’s Fry.  Phil wrote me a note that said to call you.  I just got back from your timeline.”

“Oh, good.  Tell me everything.”

“Well, we think we’ve got a plan to make the Mayor stop destroying the sewers.”  Fry explained how he’d ended up at Tura’s parents’ house with Leela and Amy, and filled her in on the plan to bring the mutants’ plight to the public spotlight by nailing a Bill of Rights to the Mayor’s door. 

Tura seemed to like what she was hearing.  “You know, that might actually work.  Most New New Yorkers don’t hate the sewer mutants; they just don’t care one way or the other.  I bet a lot of people don’t even know that mutants really exist.  I mean heck, I didn’t think they were real until we had to go look for Nibbler in the sewer that one time.”

“Yeah, that’s what Leela said too.  Hey, why are you out so late on a weeknight, anyway?”

Tura frowned a little, and Fry winced inwardly.  Great.  Now she’ll be mad at me for a week for violating her privacy.

But, for once, the frown wasn’t aimed at him.  “I don’t really know.” She admitted.  “I went to go have dinner with Leela’s parents, but when I got to the house, I just couldn’t make myself go in.  It just felt too weird.  I’ve been wandering around the city ever since.”

“That’s too bad.  Your mom made great burgers tonight.  You could really taste the Ebola.”

“Gee, thanks.  Just what I needed right now was for someone to remind me of food.”

“Huh?  You haven’t eaten?”

“No.  I tried to order something at a burger Emperor, but Leela’s bank account was empty.  Bender must have sweet-talked her credit card into giving him her PIN.”

“Damn.  That’s the second time this year.  I woulda thought the savage beating she gave him the first time would have been enough to persuade him not to do that anymore.” 

 “Well, I don’t know about Leela, but when I was giving my Bender that same savage beating, I knew it wasn’t going to stop him from doing it again.  I sure felt good when I was doing it though.  But anyway, any thoughts on what I can do for food?  Anyone who can survive two weeks in a robot insane asylum must be good at scrounging for dinner.”

“You could come over here and we could order a pizza.”  As soon as he’d finished saying it he was mentally kicking himself.  You idiot!  Why did you say that?  She’ll take it the wrong way.  She’s a Leela.  They always take stuff like that the wrong way!

 “Eh, alright.”

See, I told you- Wait.  What?!  “Umm, huh?”

“I said alright.  You can tell me more about what’s going on back at home while we eat.  I’m about half a mile from your apartment.  It’ll take me a few minutes to get there.”
_____________________________ _____________________________ __________________

“Good God, what happened here?!”

Fry frowned and shot a poignant look in the direction of his roommate, who was still sprawled out in the middle of the floor.  “Bender threw a party.”

“Looks like it was a good one.”  Fry and Leela cautiously made their way across Fry’s part of the apartment to a couch that sat by the window.  The couch, having been at the farthest point in the room from the stack of empty beer kegs that lay toppled in one corner, had survived the party relatively unharmed. 

“The pizza guy will be here in twenty minutes.” Fry said

“Good.  So tell me about this Bill of Rights again.  What’s in it?  How is it going to get to the Mayor?”

It seemed to Fry that Tura’s was going to bore right into his forehead, so intense was her gaze.  Fry, still unnerved by the fact that Tura was even in his apartment in the first place, found himself fumbling for words.  “Umm, well, you know, like I said before, it’s, uhh…”

Tura frowned and cocked her head, which just served to draw Fry’s attention to the long locks of purple that flowed down her shoulders.  “Fry, are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”  The delivery boy grinned weakly.

“No you’re not.” Tura countered, crossing her arms in front of her.  “You’re jumpier than Zoidberg around boiling water.  What’s going on?  Did Phil write something about our argument in that letter you mentioned?”

Fry looked around for a distraction but there was nothing.  Tura had that whole crossed arms, cocked head, slight frown thing going on that he’d come to know after years of working with Leela meant ‘I am not letting this go until you tell me’.  “No, Phil didn’t say anything about an argument.  Well, I mean, he did say that he thought you were angry at him again, but…” Sorry, Phil.  He amended silently, knowing that he’d just put his parallel self in the dog house.

“Angry at him?”  Leela snorted and looked away.  Her eye settled on an owl that was futilely trying to extricate itself from an immense spider web.  “Yeah I’m angry at him.  I heard from Aimee that he forgot to tie down the primary buffer panel before the delivery this morning.  Apparently there was ‘too much on his mind.’  My guess is there was too little.  As usual.”  About two seconds passed before she realized what she’d just done.  She froze and, her face turning bright red, turned to look at the delivery boy.  Fry wouldn’t meet her gaze.

“Fry, I’m sorry.”  She leaned over and put a hand on his shoulder.  Fry drew away a few inches.  “I didn’t mean that.”

“Yes you did.”

Tura winced and sat up straight.  She sighed.  “Alright, so maybe I did mean it a little.  But not because I think he’s- you’re- stupid.  It’s just, you know, sometimes it feels like Phil doesn’t think anything through.”

Says the woman who got herself stuck in an alternate timeline.  Some of the thought must have leaked into Fry’s expression, because Tura’s already red face abruptly turned a shade darker.

Thankfully, the exponentially increasing awkwardness of the situation was broken by a knock on the front door.  Fry worked his way over to the front door and, opening it, found himself face-to-face with an adolescent-looking wheeled robot dressed in a red and white uniform.  The robot opened a compartment in his chest and pulled out a cardboard box while a pizza slid out of a small oven.  “That’ll be $14.96 please.” The robot said in a bored voice.

Fry reached for his wallet, and was mildly surprised to find that it was actually there.  Bender must have given it to Phil to go buy that case of beer, he guessed.  “Here you go.”

The robot silently took the money, dumped the pizza in the box, and shoved the box into Fry’s outstretched arms before pivoting on his wheels and rolling away.  Fry took a long whiff of the aroma that the pie was giving off and felt his stomach grumble.  Apparently Phil’s dinner hadn’t been as large as his.

Fry dropped down on the couch and placed the warm pizza box between himself and Tura.  Tura immediately tore into the pizza like it was the last of its kind in the quadrant.  Fry tried not to find Tura’s ferocity endearing, but he quickly gave up.  He just wasn’t built to stay angry at what was essentially Leela. 

Soon there was nothing left but a grease-stained cardboard box and a few strands of cheese.  Fry’d managed to get two pieces.  The two of them sat in silence for awhile, neither quite sure what to say.  Over in the middle of the apartment floor, Bender moaned, rolled onto his side, and then fell silent.  The awkwardometer began to creep upward again.

Finally, Tura spoke.  “Look, Fry, about what I said earlier…”

“Forget it.” Fry said immediately, and then kicked himself for not being able to stand up for himself.

“No, no, listen.”  She implored.  “I’m going to regret this conversation later, but I already do, so I guess it doesn’t matter.  I know I’m mean to Phil, that Leela’s mean to you.  Meaner than we should be.  We say and do things that probably look like they’re designed to hurt you, and we get angry and say things that we don’t mean.  But we don’t do it on purpose.”

“Well, then why do you do it?”

“Because we’re Captains!  Do you have any idea how hard it is to have your best friend also be on your crew?  If something ever happened to Phil I’d be devastated.  That’s why I push him so hard.  And every time he makes a mistake I think about what could have happened to him, and that makes me angry.”

 Fry thought for a moment.  “So Leela is mean to me all the time because she cares about me?”

“Basically, yeah.”

The look that Fry gave Tura was full of skepticism.  “I dunno.  Leela’s awful mean sometimes.  She’d have to care a heck of a lot.  And she’s never said that’s why she yells at me all the time.”

“Well, no, she doesn’t admit it.”

“Why not?”

Tura froze for a moment, realizing too late that she’d given away far too much.  “She just can’t, not any more than I can tell my Fry why I’m so mean to him all the time.”

“Then why can you tell any of this to me?”

Tura smiled.  “Because you’re not my Fry.”
_____________________________ _____________________________ ______________


Space Pope
« Reply #304 on: 01-04-2009 08:59 »
« Last Edit on: 01-04-2009 09:08 »

I didn't feel that there was anything much wrong with this part, Soyley, you must've done a pretty good job of trimming it. I'm sorry, I won't call you Soyley. It's largely expository, but I wouldn't say it feels "bogged down". The part where Fry switches back to the alternate timeline and goes home is hilarious - "Was it ghosts?", haa - and I'm honestly actually interested in what is up with Vyolet. Not too many fics use her as a significant
character. Wonder what's going on? The absolute only thing I would say is, I'm just tending to find it a little hard at times to wrap my mind around the fact that Fry/Phil and Leela/Tura and everyone else are technically supposed to be the exact same people, and yet they're starting to act kind of different. Tura seems to talk more, be more willing to open up, etc.  But that's probably more my problem, than anything with your always-quality storycrafting.

In brief, another well-written, interesting section, probably a break before more "actiony" stuffs later.

Oh, and I also like the bit about the "amorphous and squishy" thing that sounded like it squealed, too.  I probably don't really want to know what that might've been.

Urban Legend
« Reply #305 on: 01-05-2009 02:36 »

  I'm just tending to find it a little hard at times to wrap my mind around the fact that Fry/Phil and Leela/Tura and everyone else are technically supposed to be the exact same people, and yet they're starting to act kind of different
  Well, remember, they were only the exact same people up until the point that they started to experience different things.  Leela is stuck in a situation where she has to focus all her attention on this mutant crisis, but Tura is basically stuck with nothing to do.  I've always sort of justified Leela's mistreatment of Fry as a consequence of her being responsible for him as a member of her crew.  Since Fry isn't a member of Tura's crew, she'll be alot more open with him.  Or, that's the idea, anyway  The same thing would be going on between Leela and Phil, except that Leela has put herself right in the middle of the mutant crisis, so she isn't spending the time to get close to Phil. 

So, basically, Tura and Leela are the same, we're just seeing two facets of the same personaiity.  Leela is in Captain mode, so she's being her normal self.  Tura is behaving in the way that Leela would, assuming that all of the baggage that comes with Fry being her subordinate wasn't there.  Is that not coming across?  This is a really complicated storyline, and all I've got is a rough outline and some notes rattling around in my head.  Things might not be as clear as they would be if I'd actually planned this fic through a little more...

thanks for the comment kim.

Space Pope
« Reply #306 on: 01-05-2009 05:37 »

You're always welcome...  Okay, enlightening explanation. Fully understood now. It is a complicated storyline - a complex one, too, ha - and you're doing a sterling job keeping all the elements - or strings - untangled.
Yes, I know, I've got to stop with the puns.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I also like the little detail about the bum who'd been sleeping in a ditch and got washed down a storm drain.   Pithy.

Just trust me when I say there's a reason why I'm paying so much attention to Vyolet and the contrast between Leela's life and that of the mutants.

We trust you, sO...   big grin   Unless of course it's actually your evil twin.
Sine Wave

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #307 on: 01-05-2009 06:07 »

Hey, an update! Woohoo! Good job on it, too. I basically agree with everything Kim has said. I actually really like how you're handling the Tura/Fry bit, must be the residual shipper in me.

Vyolet seems to be flopping between too mean, and too nice... I guess I'll just wait and see. smile

Bending Unit
« Reply #308 on: 01-05-2009 22:35 »

Well, remember, they were only the exact same people up until the point that they started to experience different things. 
thanks for the comment kim.

[/geekspeak] Small changes balloon to big differences over time--kind of like the 'butterfly flaps it wings and a hurricane forms in Tokyo' chaos theory argument.

I'm still enjoying the story.

Space Pope
« Reply #309 on: 01-05-2009 23:16 »

Vyolet seems to be flopping between too mean, and too nice... I guess I'll just wait and see. smile

It's not like the show really offers much of her to go on. wink I like the idea that she's having trouble dealing with people she sees as outsiders. It's like a reflection of the main characters attempting to deal with their alternate timeline companions. SO has always been good at these character-driven plots. smile

Space Pope
« Reply #310 on: 01-06-2009 01:03 »

Yes, he is..

Heyyy, JN showed up. big grin

Bringing chaos theory, no less.

This thread doesn't have enough chaos theory.

Urban Legend
« Reply #311 on: 01-06-2009 21:08 »

We trust you, sO...   
<Burns> Excellent... </Burns>

Hey, an update! Woohoo! Good job on it, too. I basically agree with everything Kim has said. I actually really like how you're handling the Tura/Fry bit, must be the residual shipper in me.

Shh!  Don't you know its dangerous to call yourself a shipper ever since the movies came out?  Ralph Snart and the antishippers will get you if you're not more careful!

Vyolet seems to be flopping between too mean, and too nice... I guess I'll just wait and see.
  Yeah, she'll be doing alot of flopping between nice and nasty for the time being.

I'm still enjoying the story.
  Good to hear!    (I got your email btw.  I'll look at it tonight)

This thread doesn't have enough chaos theory.
  Congrats on being the only person ever in the history of the human race to make that comment about a thread in a message board big grin

Space Pope
« Reply #312 on: 01-07-2009 02:21 »



We trust you, sO...  
<Burns> Excellent... </Burns>

So your plan is all coming together, eh?...

Additionally, your framegrab caption caused me enjoyment.

Urban Legend
« Reply #313 on: 01-07-2009 02:43 »

Additionally, your framegrab caption caused me enjoyment.
  thanks smile

I was hunting through the dark depths of my laptop's hard drive this afternoon and came across this story I wrote a couple of years ago for a creative writing class I was taking at the time.  It's not Futurama related, but I thought I'd share anyway: The Oak Tree  

Space Pope
« Reply #314 on: 01-08-2009 03:39 »

Just... wow.  That was sad and amazing and beautiful. I already knew you were a talented writer, but that was pretty much on a different plane.
What was the nature of the assignment, exactly?
Unlike Mars' thin atmosphere, this story was so evocative and drew me in right from the
start - nothing too 'thin' about it at all.
Excellent effort.
Got anything else lying around?

Urban Legend
« Reply #315 on: 01-08-2009 03:59 »

thanks Kim smile  The assignment was basically to write an original, 10-20 page work of fiction by the end of the semester so that the class could read it and discuss it in a panel.  I poured every ounce of whatever talent I have into that story; I was terrified that the English majors were going to railroad me unless I gave them something outstanding.  (They laughed at me when I said at the beginning of the semester that I was going to write science fiction)   They really seemed to like the story when I gave it to them though.

and no, sorry, I don't have anything else worth sharing, though I am starting a novel which I have high hopes for.

Space Pope
« Reply #316 on: 01-08-2009 04:27 »

A novel?  *quivers again*
Also sci-fi?
Much luck.

I poured every ounce of whatever talent I have into that story

You must have. It's very good. Sine is just about to start a creative-writing class this semester too (he also just left for a 10-day cycling camp in the mountains today, so he won't be around; but I'll certainly recommend that he reads this when he gets back).  I guess you showed the English majors what an astrophysicist can do.

Oh, and sorry about your wisdom teeth, too, from the PEELies thread. frown  There's quite the interesting discussion going on there..
Ralph Snart

Agent Provocateur
Near Death Star Inhabitant
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #317 on: 01-08-2009 04:59 »

I have to say I appreciate ESSO's other fiction.

Dude, I hope you got some good pain meds for the Wisdom Teeth Extraction.

@ Kim:

The thing that happened in the PEELies thread is something I vowed that wouldn't happen - I got involved in a meaningless pissfight.  It's over now, I refuse to step in that level of Dante's Inferno ever again.


Urban Legend
« Reply #318 on: 01-08-2009 05:40 »
« Last Edit on: 01-08-2009 05:41 »

Dude, I hope you got some good pain meds for the Wisdom Teeth Extraction.
  I've got enough pain killers, steroids, and antibiotics in me right now that I wouldn't be surprised if I start seeing little pink Christina Aguilera monsters like the kids from South Park.

There's quite the interesting discussion going on there..
  Yeah, I read it.  People are sure nasty to each other when they can hide behind an anonymous screen name and a computer monitor.

I refuse to step in that level of Dante's Inferno ever again.

Yeah, don't let those few idiots who hang around in offtopic draw you into a brawl, Ralph.  They're just looking for any excuse to prove to themselves that they're better than everyone else, and they'll step all over each other- and everyone else- in their eagerness to do it..  Its like feeding a bunch of damned pirahna.


Urban Legend
« Reply #319 on: 01-10-2009 03:48 »

part 2
chapter 5
_____________________________ _____________________________ _______________

The next day, and in the beta timeline, Leela trudged wearily into work half an hour late.  She hadn’t gotten back to her apartment until one o’clock in the morning, and then she’d been unable to get her brain to shut up and let her sleep.

Hermes was waiting for her in the Planet Express Building’s anteroom.  He didn’t look pleased.  In fact, he seemed to be talking to her.  She just stared blankly at the Jamaican and waited for him to stop lecturing her.  She wasn’t hearing a word that was coming out of his mouth; her mind was still in its early morning fog.  Hermes really ought to have known that she wasn’t worth dressing down until she’d had her first two cups of coffee.

Eventually the bureaucrat frowned, said something about how being from an alternate reality was no excuse, and then started to walk off in the direction of his office.  Leela, on autopilot, soon found herself in the hangar, where Aimee appeared and thrust a steaming mug of coffee into her hand.  Leela looked down at the drink and saw that it was as black as space itself.  Just the way she liked it.

Leela was soon completely alert, and, within fifteen minutes of her arrival, had managed to get Phil and Bender to load the cargo, downloaded the mission profile into the ship’s computer, yelled at Phil for once again forgetting to tie down the primary buffer panel, and gotten the ship prepped for launch.  When all was ready, Leela pushed the throttle to maximum, and the little green ship leapt eagerly into the sky.
_____________________________ _____________________________ ___________________

“So, explain to me again why we delivered a bunch of empty boxes to another galaxy?”

Leela and Phil were walking down a busy sidewalk not far from Planet Express.  The crew had returned from the delivery about an hour earlier.  “For the last time Phil,” Leela said with a frustrated sigh, “they weren’t empty.  They were full of air.”

Phil blinked twice.  “So… they were empty?”

“Ugh.  The space station we delivered that shipment to relies entirely on recycled air.  Oxygen is extremely valuable there, so valuable that they even use it as a unit of currency.  The little bit of oxygen we delivered was worth a small fortune to them.”

“Oh.  Why don’t they just go get some somewhere for free?”

“Because, until Aimee stupidly asked them that very question, they didn’t know they could just go somewhere and get it for free.”
“Is that why they demanded we give them their money back and then chased us with laser guns?”

“That and because some of the boxes turned out to be filled with Jell-O rather than air, yeah.”

Up ahead was O’Zorgnax’s pub, where Bender had insisted the three of them meet after work.  Phil and Leela had been discussing the plan that the mutants, Leela, and Fry had devised the night before, and debating how to get the Bill of Rights to the Mayor.  Phil wanted to play it safe and just nail the document to the outside of City Hall, but Leela felt like the Mayor might take it more seriously if the Bill mysteriously showed up on his desk within his locked office.  When Leela had asked Bender to help her break in to a public building, he’d almost blown his enthusiasm circuit.

Bender- the one from the alpha timeline- was already waiting for them when Phil and Leela entered the pub.  The robot was sitting at a booth in the back corner, whistling happily to himself while using a laser etcher built into one of his fingers to write ‘Bender is great’ into the table’s scuffed surface.  Leela sat down across from him, and Phil slid in beside her.  Leela noticed the delivery boy shoot the robot an irritated look, no doubt because Bender had snuck away from work half an hour early and left Phil to scrape out the ship’s exhaust nozzles by himself.

When Bender didn’t acknowledge their presence, but just continued vandalizing the table top, Leela cleared her throat.  The laser etcher switched off and the robot looked up at her. 

“Hey, it’s Captain Depth Perception!”  The robot chuckled when Leela’s eye narrowed dangerously at him.  “Oh, relax chump.  We have a burglary to plan, remember?”

Leela’s eye narrowed further, and she crossed her arms.  “This is not a burglary, Bender.  We’re breaking in, dropping off the mutant Bill of Rights, and then leaving.”

Bender snorted.  “So you’re going to go through all the trouble of breaking into City Hall, avoiding the alarms and security systems, sneaking into the Mayor’s office, and getting away without being caught, and you’re not even going to pick up some swag while you’re there?  And you want me to put my shiny metal ass on the line to help you?  Why the hell should I do that?”

Leela started to speak, but the only answers she could come up with involved morality, decency, and loyalty to one’s friends.  In other words, she had nothing.  She closed her mouth, stumped. 

Luckily, Phil, who, unlike Leela, had never been able to simply beat Bender until he did what he was told, had learned some tricks over the years to get the robot motivated.  “Yeah, you’re right.  There’s no reason for you to help us.  And besides, those guys were probably right.  You couldn’t break into the Mayor’s office without getting caught anyway.”

Bender sat straight up in his chair.  “What?!  I’m the greatest burglar that ever lived!  I can break into any building[/i], any time.”

“Well, I dunno, these guys said-”

“Who said?!  I’ll kill ‘em!”

“Oh, just these two guys.”
Bender’s eyes shifted back and forth between Fry and Leela.  “Leela, do you know anything about this?”

Leela hesitated, then caught herself.  “Uh, yeah.  Totally.  There were these- well, like Phil said.  These two guys.  And they said you couldn’t break into City Hall without getting caught, because you’re not that great.”

“Yeah?  Well I’ll show them!  I’ll break into City Hall tonight, and I’ll do it so no one ever knows I was even there.  Then we’ll see who’s not great.”
_____________________________ _____________________________ _________________

As the three co-conspirators sat hunched over a steadily growing collection of empty beer bottles, a plan of action began to slowly emerge.  The first snag appeared when it became apparent that Leela was not going to agree on a plan in which she did not take part.  It didn’t matter how many times Phil explained to her that it was too dangerous for her to be involved; she was not going to sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

Eventually a compromise was reached.  Fry and Bender would do the actual break in while Leela monitored their progress and offered advice from the safety of Planet Express.  Leela didn’t like the idea of sending Phil into danger- where he could get hurt, or, much more likely, screw up- but she didn’t trust Bender in City Hall after hours with no one there to keep an eye on him.  Next thing, she’d be hearing that a new law had appeared in the books declaring every Thursday to be ‘Pay Twenty Dollars to Bender Day’.  She didn’t relish acting as mission control back at the PE building either, but Phil had chosen this, of all times, to show some backbone and refuse to take part if she went anywhere near the Mayor’s Office.

Ironically, the first step of the plan was to break into the Planet Express Building, even though Phil and Leela- though not Bender, for obvious reasons- had been given the security code for afer-hours access.  Unfortunately, the building’s security system would log that they had been in the office after hours, and Hermes would start asking questions.  If the bureaucrat found out what his crew had been up to, well, they might suddenly find themselves looking for new jobs.

Leela had been wondering how Bender was planning to sneak into the impenetrable fortress that was the PE building.  The solution ended up being far simpler than she would have expected.  Bender simply sauntered across the street to the dumpster of Family Bros. Pizza, scooped up a glob of unidentifiable detritus, dumped the pile of foul smelling ooze by the building’s rear fire door, and waited.  A few minutes later the fire door flew open, and Dr. Zoidberg launched himself at the garbage.  Bender reached out and nonchalantly caught the door before it closed, and Phil and Leela followed him into the darkened interior of Planet Express. 

There was a lot of fumbling around in the dark before Phil finally stumbled on the light switch.  Leela blinked at the sudden brilliance and then made her way over to Bender, who was waiting impatiently at the other end of the hangar by the locker of his alternate-timeline self. 

“About time.”  Bender grumbled when Phil and Leela arrived.  “What moron designed you humans without night vision, anyway?”

“Just open the locker, Bender.”  Leela replied with a sigh.  She was in no mood for dealing with his charming personality right now.

The robot complied and, after rummaging around in the locker for a moment or two, withdrew the items that he had been looking for.  Phil took the tiny objects and put them up to his eye one at a time. 

“What are these?”  He asked curiously.

“Just some things the other I stole from the old guy.”  Bender explained with a casual wave of the hand.  “That little black disc is a camera that sticks to any surface.  The Professor was putting it on rats so he could see what they saw when they ran through a maze.  It works a lot better as a spy camera.”

“So that’s how my Bender got that incriminating footage of me in the shower.”  Phil said in an aside to Leela.  “What does this doohickey do?”  The delivery boy held up a tiny red pill-shaped object.

“Hey, isn’t that the Professor’s prototype walkie-talkie-in-a-pill that he’s been looking for for three weeks?  We all assumed Zoidberg swallowed it.” 

Bender shrugged.  “He did, but I bribed him with a bucket of chum to go retrieve it for me.”

Phil turned an interesting shade of green as he realized the significance of that.  “Ewww.”
_____________________________ _____________________________ ___________________

  It took some coaxing, but Leela was eventually able to convince Phil to swallow the tiny pill-shaped communications device after immersing it in soapy water for ten minutes.  Once the device had affixed itself to Fry’s central nervous system it was only a matter of tuning her wrist computer to the right frequency, and the two of them could communicate as if over walkie-talkies.  The Professor’s miniature camera, which would send streaming video to the conference room’s gigantic television, was then affixed to his forehead.

Phil was bubbling over with excitement.  “This is awesome!  I’m like James Bond, only without the accent, and every car I get into doesn’t end up exploding… unless I’m driving it.”  Phil was interrupted by a loud clang and then the noise of metal being scraped across concrete coming from behind the Planet Express Ship.  “Hey, what’s that?”

“Oh, that must be the mutants.”  Leela took a few steps in the direction of the noise.  “It’s alright, guys” she called.  “Come on out.  It’s safe.”

To Phil’s astonishment, Turanga Morris’s head popped out of a hole in the floor that led to the engine exhaust tunnel that had been built under the hangar.  The grate that usually covered the hole lay on the hangar floor next to the hole.

 One by one Leela’s parents, Raoul, Vyolet, Leg Mutant, and Dwayne all emerged from the exhaust tunnel and huddled under the bulk of the Planet Express Ship.  Leela began to walk toward them and, after Phil and Bender shot each other nervous glances, her two friends followed.

“Hi Mom.  Hi Dad.”  Leela said, hugging the two uncomfortable-looking cyclopses.  “You’re just in time.  Phil and Bender were just about to get started.”

Munda looked around the empty hangar and took a seemingly unconscious step backward so that her back was to the ship’s starboard landing strut.  “Are you sure it’s safe to be here?”  She asked nervously.

“Yeah Leela, what’s the deal?”  Phil asked.  “If somebody sees them on the surface…”  He didn’t have to finish the thought.  Everyone knew exactly what would happen.

“Oh please.”  Leela scoffed.  “Who’s going to see them?  The Professor sleeps like the dead, and he’s the only one nearby except for Zoidberg, who we locked outside when we got here.”  The PE captain turned to address the mutants.  “Trust me.  It’s completely safe here.  You have nothing to worry about.”

Leela led the group to the conference room, but Phil caught her arm as they came out of the elevator.  He waited for everyone to pass and then said in a whisper “What are they doing here?”

Leela double checked to make sure everyone was out of earshot before replying.  “They deserve to be here Phil.  They are about to stand up to the Mayor of New New York for the first time ever.  Since I’m going to be stuck here useless while you and Bender do the break-in, I decided I might at least have some company.”  She gestured toward the mutants.  “I wanted to give them a chance to be able to say that they were part of this; that they didn’t have to totally rely on someone else to do it for them.”

“Yeah, but geez Leela.”  He shook his head.

Leela smiled and put a hand on his shoulder.  “Relax, Phil.  Nothing will go wrong.”

Phil frowned and gave Leela an uneasy look.  “When the Professor says that before a mission, my Leela always tells me to bring along the extra laser rifles.”
_____________________________ _____________________________ _______________

The street outside City Hall was deserted, as was to be expected this late at night.  Phil and Bender were standing in an alley by one of the building’s ground floor windows.  Leela, her parents, and the other mutants watched from the Planet Express conference room as the televised image of Bender laughed at the thick iron bars that stood between him and the glass window pane.

“What are you gonna do, bend those bars?”  Phil asked.  His voice sounded a little strange, probably because the microphone that was recording everything was planted inside his body. 

I wonder if that’s what Fry thinks his voice sounds like?  Leela wondered.

“Gee moron, you think?”  Bender retorted before grabbing two of the iron bars and pulling outward.  The rods of metal bent with little effort, and soon came free of the concrete that held them in place.  Bender tossed the mangled iron to the pavement and started to do a little dance.

“Oh yeah, who’s great?  Me, Bender.  Bender’s great.  Oh yeah.”

In the Planet Express conference room, there were a few puzzled glances exchanged by the onlooking sewer mutants.   

“Is this some kind of above grounder victory dance, or something?”  Vyolet asked.

Leela rolled her eye.  “No.  You’ll have to excuse my friends.  They’re idiots.”  The cyclops pressed down on a button on her wrist computer.  “Stop showing off, Bender” she ordered, her disembodied voice, which emanated from the pill that Fry had swallowed, lagging behind by a fraction of a second.  “We’ve got a job to do.”

Bender stopped dancing and snorted rudely.  “Alright, fine.  Fry, or Phil, or whoever you are right now, give me that tool I aksed you to hold for me.”

The camera that was generating Leela’s field of view was mounted on Phil’s forehead, so she couldn’t see his reaction, but, based on the fact the camera suddenly dropped an inch or two, Leela would have guessed that he’d just furrowed his brow.  “Tool?  What tool?”

“What are you, stupid?”  Bender put up his hands before Phil could respond.  “Wait, sorry, dumb question.  That diamond glass cutter I gave you.  I need it.”

 “You mean that wasn’t a piece of rock candy?  Huh.  Well, that explains why it tasted so awful, and why my throat is bleeding.”

Bender slapped his forehead and then looked directly into the camera.  “Leela, permission to strangle Phil until he passes out?”

“Negative.”  Leela replied.  “Switch to plan B.”

“Roger that.  Come on, Phil.  Help me look for a rock.”

The camera started to jostle around as Phil bent over to help search.  Leela turned away in frustration and walked to the conference room railing.  A moment later, Munda appeared behind her and tapped her on the shoulder.  “Leela, honey, are you sure it was a good idea sending these two on this mission?”

Leela put up her hands in a helpless gesture.  “What other choice was there?  It’s not like I have tons of friends who I can trust with knowing my secret heritage and are willing to risk their lives to help you.”

“I guess that’s true.”  Munda admitted before moving to Leela’s side.  The older cyclops wrapped a tentacle around the worn metal railing and looked out over the hangar.  “So this is where you work,” she said, fascinated.  “And that is a real life spaceship.”

Leela followed her alternate-mother’s gaze to the bow of the ship.  Her ship.  “Yep.”  It was inadequate, but it was all that Leela could find to say.

“Your father and I are very proud of you, Leela.”

“I know Mom.  And someday, I’m going to take you and Dad up into space in that ship.”

“I’d like that very much.”  Munda said, and the two of them embraced.  The hug was brief, however, as Leg Mutant called them back to the television screen.  Bender had found a brick lying on the ground somewhere, and he was winding up to toss it through the window that he had de-barred.

“Isn’t this going to set off an alarm?”  Raoul asked Leela.

“Well, normally, yes, but Bender already bribed the program that runs the building’s security systems.  As long as they don’t run into an actual guard or trip any of the non-bribable, non-robotic alarms, they should be fine.”

There was a loud crash followed by a chuckle.  Leela looked up at the screen to see shards of glass raining down from the now-vanished window.  Bender walked over to the hole and sent his extendable arms probing into the room.  Eventually he found something sturdy enough to satisfy him, and his arms began to retract.  The robot’s body slid noisily up over the window still and disappeared from view.  A moment later, a robotic arm reappeared in the window and Bender’s left hand planted itself firmly right below the camera’s field of view, right where Phil’s neck would be.  The camera angle tilted crazily.  Leela blinked once and suddenly a plush, blue carpet filled the television screen.

Moments later Phil had stopped gasping for breath, regained his feet, brushed himself off, and obliged Leela’s request that he look around so that she could see his surroundings.  I gotta hand it to him.  Leela told herself.  He can recover from physical trauma pretty fast.  That was probably due in no small part to the nanites that were now permanent residents of his bloodstream.  One of Farnsworth’s few good inventions.

Leela thought she recognized the part of the building that her two friends were in.  “That’s one of the main hallways.”  Leela whispered into her wrist computer.  “You want to turn right.  That should be the way to the stairs.”  The camera shook up and down, which was probably Phil forgetting that she couldn’t see him nod his head.

After a few moments of walking in silence, Phil suddenly made a left turn into a darkened room.  Bender, who’d been in front of him, continued walking, oblivious to the fact that Phil wasn’t following him anymore.

“What’s Fry doing?”  Raoul asked Leela.

“I don’t know.”  She said, perplexed.  “Maybe he heard somebody coming.  But if he’s hiding, then why didn’t he warn Bender?”

A light flicked on, illuminating Phil’s surroundings.  “He’s hiding in the restroom next to the lobby.  That idiot.  Someone will see the light under the crack in the door!”  Leela reached for her wrist computer but stopped herself.  If the light didn’t give him away, Leela’s voice certainly would.

Phil wandered slowly to the other end of the small space.  “You know, he doesn’t really look like he’s trying to hide from somebody.”  Morris commented.  “It looks more like he-”


“Abort!  Abort!”  Raoul was yelling frantically.  Leela averted her eye just in time, but Vyolet wasn’t so lucky.

“Ahhh!  I’m blind!”
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